The Australian Emerging Rollers have selected their team that will compete at the 2019 Fazza International Wheelchair Basketball Tournament taking place in Dubai, UAE, from 24-30 April.
The tournament provides international experience for the next group of athletes looking to represent the Rollers at the 2019 IWBF Asia Oceania Championships, which also serve as qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
The Rollers are coming off a bronze medal at the 2018 IWBF Wheelchair Basketball World Championships in Hamburg, Germany, and are looking to build depth of talent leading into Tokyo, by providing an opportunity for this emerging group of athletes to make their mark on Head Coach Craig Friday.
“It is a great opportunity for some new squad members to be exposed at the international level, as well as a couple that have been around the fringe looking for a chance to impress and put some healthy pressure on those that have been in the team of late,” said Friday.
“I am excited to see if we can continue to add depth and competition inside our Rollers squad.”
Steven Elliott is the only athlete from the Rollers’ World Championships campaign to be given an opportunity on the tour, providing him with an increased leadership role and additional court time to help the progression and development of his game.
Shawn Russell (Wollongong), Damon Fent (Kilsyth) and Jordan Bartley (University of Alabama/Brisbane) are three of the more experienced athletes expected to play significant roles in the tournament, with the trio hopeful of pressing for selection for the Asia Oceania Championships in Pattaya, Thailand, at the end of the year.
Emerging athletes Lachlin Dalton (Brisbane), Anderson Parker (Sydney), Frank Pinder (Perth) and Tom McHugh (Red Dust) will all be tested by the size and physicality of the international competition, with all four players coming off a successful Kevin Coombs Cup tournament over the last week in Townsville.
“We have some different classifications in the group this week to what we have carried for the past two years and into the WC [World Championships] in 2018,” said Friday.
“It will be interesting to see if we can find another combination that we can add to our current line-ups.”
The tour will also be an important preparation opportunity for the group, with the 2019 season of the National Wheelchair Basketball League (NWBL) beginning on 10 May.
|1||United Arab Emirates|
|Australian Emerging Rollers team for the 2019 Fazza International Wheelchair Basketball Tournament|
|Tom McHugh||Red Dust Heelers||4.5|
|Anderson Parker||Sydney Blues Hornets||4.5|
|Jordan Bartley||Brisbane Spinning Bullets||4.0|
|Shawn Russell||Wollongong Rollerhawks||4.0|
|Steven Elliott||Brisbane Spinning Bullets||3.5|
|Andrew Dewberry||Perth Wheelcats||3.0|
|Jake Kavanagh||Red Dust Heelers||3.0|
|Lachlin Dalton||Brisbane Spinning Bullets||2.5|
|Dylan Gawthorne||Brisbane Spinning Bullets||2.5|
|Jeremy Tyndall||Kilsyth Cobras||1.5|
|Damon Fent||Kilsyth Cobras||1.0|
|Frank Pinder||Perth Wheelcats||1.0|
|Staff for the 2019 Fazza International Wheelchair Basketball Tournament|
|Craig Friday||Head Coach||WA|
|Thomas Kyle Jnr||Assistant / Technical Coach||WA|
|Benjamin Sortino||Team Manager / Strength and Conditioning Coach||VIC|
By Basketball Australia