The Australian Rollers will converge on Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence (CoE) from May 29-June 2 for a selection camp aimed at picking a team to tour England and compete in the Continental Cup in early July.
From that tournament in Leicester, UK, the Rollers’ team for the 2016 Paralympics in September will then be selected.
The 18-player squad that will head to the CoE have been chosen based on performances at last year’s Asia Oceania IWBF tournament and the 2014 IWBF World Championship campaign where the Rollers won back-to-back gold medals as well as their individual and team performances through the 2015 and 2016 NWBL seasons.
“This is an excellent opportunity for our top 18 athletes to come together and push each other,” said Rollers head coach Ben Ettridge.
“Another milestone for us was the release of the pools for Rio. We now know our initial five opponents (Canada, Turkey, Netherlands, Japan and Spain). This alone has taken our preparation to another level both individually and as a team.
“Every guy here is vying for selection, competition is high. No one has yet punched a ticket to Rio.”
16 members of the squad are currently competing in the NWBL, with five clubs represented while the remaining two players have just finished seasons overseas.
Kilsyth Cobras and Wollongong Roller Hawks will send five players each into the camp, the Red Dust Heelers will have three representatives, the RSL Queensland Spinning Bullets will have four while Shaun Norris will represent the Perth Wheelcats.
“Our boys have all been playing exceptionally well in the NWBL, Bill Latham joins us fresh off winning the European Championships and Sam White has added another NCAA crown.
“This is a testament to the hard work the guys are doing in their home institutes.”
Carrying that form into the May-June camp will be imperative for the Rollers as they seek a fourth straight Paralympic medal and hopefully, a third gold medal after success in 1996 and 2008.
“This camp is about continuing to develop the mental, physical, technical, tactical and cultural toughness needed to take on the world’s best in Rio.”
The Australian Rollers for the Centre of Excellence camp:
Josh Allison Kilsyth Cobras | VIS
Michael Auprince Wollongong Rollerhawks | NSWIS
Jannik Blair Red Dust Heelers | VIS
Michael D’Amelio Kilsyth Cobras | VIS
Adam Deans Red Dust Heelers | WAIS
Damon Fent Kilsyth Cobras | VIS
Tristan Knowles Kilsyth Cobras | VIS
Bill Latham Queensland Spinning Bullets | QAS
Tim Markcrow Wollongong Rollerhawks | ACTAS
Matt McShane Queensland Spinning Bullets | QAS
Brad Ness Red Dust Heelers | WAIS
Shaun Norris Perth Wheelcats | WAIS
Tom O’Neill-Thorne Queensland Spinning Bullets | QAS
Luke Pople Wollongong Rollerhawks | NSWIS
Shawn Russell Kilsyth Cobras | VIS
Tige Simmons Queensland Spinning Bullets | QAS
Brett Stibners Wollongong Rollerhawks | NSWIS
Sam White Wollongong Rollerhawks | SASI
Australian Rollers Staff
Head Coach Ben Ettridge
Assistant Coach Luke Brennan
Program Coaches Jeremy Synot & Craig Campbell
Physiotherapist Jesse Adams
Physiologist Jo Miller
Strength & Conditioning Adam Wolski
Performance Psychology Shayne Hanks
Personal Excellence Gina Rees
National Program Manager Leigh Gooding
By Basketball Australia