New recruits, returning veterans and the continued development of an extremely young group have the Mandurah Magic men’s team looking forward to a better showing this State Basketball League season.
The men kick off their year in a clash with Perry Lakes this Saturday night, and will be hoping to pick up an early win after last year’s campaign netted them just four from 26 outings.
But this year they step onto the court with renewed hope and aspirations.
Imports Shaun Stewart and Jamal Shabazz both seem like outstanding additions to the team, and will look to fill the void left by the departure of last year’s leading scorer Will McNeill and the retirement of captain Taylor Mullenax.
Andrew Bowman has also stepped down from playing duties this season, but will remain part of the team having taken up an assistant coaching role.
Both Stewart and Shabazz will act as leaders to the young group, which is looking to climb off the depths of the standings.
The Magic got valuable minutes into young players like Damon Ballantyne, Cousteau Kyle and Chad Miegel last season, and will build on that again this year.
Second-year coach Aaron Trahair said his team had all the attributes needed to cause the top teams “a few headaches” in 2018.
“We’ve added a bit of height and we’re quite a lengthy team, which will help us improve on the defensive side of the court,” he said.
“I think we can be an annoying side for other teams to play, we should be able to frustrate them.”
Trahair said he was eager to see how the squad could improve with another year of experience.
“As a team we just want to see some consistency,” he said.
“If we can keep developing, and be competitive across the entire 26 games, then that will show we’re still on the right path.”
The Magic’s round one clash against Perry Lakes will be player at the Bendat Basketball Centre this Saturday, tipping off at 8pm.