Mandurah Magic set for homecoming

The Mandurah Magic will make a long-awaited return to the Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre in a blockbuster clash against Kalamunda in round four of the 2017 season, following the release of the State Basketball League fixture earlier this month.

The Magic spent the entirety of the 2016 season on the road after playing all “home” games at the Mike Barnett Sports Complex in Rockingham while their regular home court at MARC underwent significant upgrades.

The club will start its season with a three-game road stretch, playing games in Willetton, Lakeside and Kalgoorlie before finally returning to the Mandurah court in week four.

New men’s head coach Aaron Trahair said the club had a “buzz of excitement” as it neared its homecoming.

“Not being here last year I can only speak on behalf of the people around the club, but I can tell that everyone is pretty thrilled to be returning home and to an upgraded court,” he said.

“I can only imagine the headaches being away from home for a full year would have caused so it will be great for both the club and the community to return.”

Renovations to the Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre will see the Mandurah Magic play on an upgraded court in 2017.

Renovations to the Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre will see the Mandurah Magic play on an upgraded court in 2017.

Trahair expects the Magic’s week three trip to Kalgoorlie to be a bonding experience for a team that looks set to inject a high amount of youth to its roster.

“It’s always a test to start on the road but it’s always got positives as well – I think the trip to Kalgoorlie will be a good chance for the team to bond and gel together early on,” he said.

“We’ve had plenty of young players on the court for trials and training so it’s probably a bit of a priority for us to get them acquainted to the system and how the SBL works.”

The men’s side is looking to return to the playoffs after a horror run with injury saw them finish last in 2016.

But Trahair is placing no expectations on his side, saying constant improvement is the only goal for next season.

“I think as a coach that week-to-week improvement is all you can ask for,” he said.

“Having plenty of young players means inconsistencies will probably show up but they can also be very exciting and have plenty of run in them.

“We’ll look to build them up as good individual players which will help form a strong team.”

The Magic are yet to sign any American imports to the line-up, but the club is hopeful of finding stars that fit their playing system before the season begins.