The Mandurah Magic women’s outfit is staring at the reality of being championship contenders once again, with a deep line-up leading them into the 2018 season.
Their campaign kicks off with a grand final re-match against the Perry Lakes Hawks this Saturday, which could prove to be a monumental tone-setter on the season with both sides likely to feature at the top end of the ladder through the year.
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While the Magic will enter the season missing last year’s star point guard Nici Gilday and key rotation player Kasey Miegel, they will be buoyed by new American recruit Anita Brown.
Runner-up league MVP Carly Boag is still on deck to handle the responsibilities at centre, while vital senior players Bree Klasztorny, Rachel Halleen, Casey Mihovilovich and Emma Klasztorny remain at the club.
Rachel Pettit and Morgan Ballantyne now boast their own years of experience in the Magic’s senior line-up, and along with Kelly Bailey the trio will be pushing for more time on the court.
Taylah Kemp, Olivia Bassett-Scarfe, Georgia Adams and Grace Lawler will all look to make an impact as new additions to the side.
But while the Magic may have welcomed a string of new faces, coach Randy Miegel said the side hadn’t changed its preparation ahead of the new year.
“Not much will change in terms of the way we play our basketball,” he said.
“Our approach has been pretty successful with us playing finals the last few years, and we still have the same core group of players just with a few changes, so we’ll look to stay consistent with how we prepare.”
That consistency alludes to Mandurah once again being a force defensively, while pulling down a hell of a lot of rebounds.
They’ve built their game around being a physical, team-first outfit, and that could once again lead them to a high finish in the standings.
“Our original goal is to finish in the top four, but we’ll break the season down into blocks of games and if we finish higher than that we’ll be happy,” Miegel said.
“Obviously we want to get back to the championship game, but we’ll take it one step at a time.”
The Magic will start their season on the road, with their round one clash against the Hawks to be played at Bendat Basketball Centre this Saturday.
The game tips off at 6pm.