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2018 Head Coaches Announced
The North East Bushrangers have kick started their 2018 season with the appointment of both head coaching positions. The 2017 BigV season saw both teams face some big challenges as both sides assumed new identities following a number of key departures. Having successfully navigated this transition period, both Bushrangers programs are excited to build on the experience gained and make a strong push in 2018.
The North East Bushrangers will have a change in head coach, with Jacqui Henry stepping aside after four years in the top job. Jacqui has been instrumental in getting both programs off the ground and has worked tirelessly to ensure the North East Bushrangers program has a solid foundation for years to come. In Jacqui’s time as head coach, she has successfully run the men’s program that has seen players represent Papua New Guinea, head to the USA for college and only recently had Bushrangers alumni win BigV championships. Along with this, Jacqui has been at the forefront of the North East Bushrangers Development Squads that has seen over 30 athletes from Yarrawonga, Wangaratta, Benalla, Myrtleford, Bright, Albury and Wodonga participate. The North East Bushrangers program is in debt to Jacqui for all the work she has done and we wish her all the best for the future.
Replacing Jacqui will be a familiar face, with Emma Henry accepting the position. Having spent the last four seasons as an assistant to Jacqui, it was a natural progression for Emma. A well accomplished coach in her own right, Emma has been involved in the Basketball Victoria Country program, achieving a silver medal at the Australian U16 Nationals last year and being named Basketball Victoria Country Female Coach of the Year for the last two years running. Emma is excited to take on the head coaching role with an aim to get the Bushrangers a maiden visit to the BigV finals series the ultimate goal. Henry said her aim for 2018 is to “expand on the foundation laid by Jacqui and have those young players that debuted in 2017 take the next step in becoming integral members of our program”. Henry added “we have some areas that need work and are hopeful we can attract some players to help fill the holes, but overall we won’t be making any major changes”.
For the Lady Bushrangers, Mick Hales has been reappointed after a challenging but successful first season in 2017. Right from the outset, Mick knew his 2017 season would be a good test of character for not only himself but also his athletes thanks to an exodus of the core playing group. Mick instilled his faith in a young group who worked hard and after some teething problems gelled to become a competitive unit by seasons end. When asked about his 2018 plans, Hales was hopeful he would have the core group return, while being able to add some further experience and talent for 2018; “We have a great core group, and they really impressed me with their work ethic and desire to see this program be competitive. From what I can tell, the majority will be returning in 2018 and I am hoping to add a couple of past players along with some new talent” said Hales.
In further good news for the NE Bushrangers, exciting American Kannon Burrage has agreed to terms with the club and will return for the 2018. Despite only playing half the 2017 season, Kannon was a revelation for the young side, providing a strong work ethic and a depth of knowledge that was invaluable for young players to model their games off. From a statistical perspective, Burrage set the league alight as he took out the scoring title with an average of 28ppg, while finishing third in rebounding. Burrage is excited to build on his 2017 exploits while working with his young team mates in their pursuit for a maiden finals birth; “2017 turned out great for me personally once I could get on the court, so I can’t wait for 2018 to come around and get a full season in with this exciting group. I really enjoy the club and everything it offers to me and the basketball community in the North East”.
An announcement of when preseason training starts will be made in the very near future, so please stay tuned to our Facebook page and also the Albury, Wangaratta and Wodonga Basketball Association website for more information.
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