‘A championship is my priority’: New Mandurah Magic coach eyes ultimate success

New Mandurah Magic women’s coach Craig Watts has placed delivering a maiden State Basketball League championship to the city at the top of his priorities list.

The freshly-signed head coach hasn’t shied away from the expectations that come with taking over a genuine title contender, saying the ultimate success is high atop his agenda.

Without doubt, a championship is my priority

Craig Watts

Watts takes the reigns of a side that has come agonisingly close to victories without bringing home the crown in the previous two Women’s SBL grand finals.

It’s a group hungry to make the most of their chances, and that desperation will drive their chase to an inaugural title, according to Watts.

“Without doubt, a championship is my priority,” he said.

“The girls have come so close over the past two years and I know what it would mean to everyone here to bring one home, so that’s our goal first and foremost.”

Watts takes over a side chomping at the bit for a championship. Photo: Justin Rake.

Watts takes over a side chomping at the bit for a championship. Photo: Justin Rake.

Watts has been with the team as an assistant coach for both of those gut-wrenching grand final losses, and will now step into the senior role for 2019 following the resignation of two-time WSBL coach of the year Randy Miegel.

It’s a big pair of shoes for the new head coach to fill, but he’s confident the program the club has established over recent years will hold him in good stead.

“I’ve been working with the side for quite a while now so I feel like it’s a good time to be stepping into the head role,” he said.

“I know the players really well and we have a really good chemistry on the team, so chasing that title with them is a journey I’m really looking forward to.

“We’ve built a hugely successful program with Randy at the head of it and after coming so close the last two years I feel like all we need to do is add that extra five per cent on to it, so that’s what we’ll be looking to do.”

Along with winning a title, strengthening the top side’s bond with their developing players is also responsibility Watts will look to shoulder in 2019.

The new coach has already implemented an in-house off-season competition he calls the Super League, which will run over six weeks with the intention of mixing the Magic’s junior players with their SBL stars.

“Making sure we’re all working together, from our WABL guys and D-league team to our SBL top side, is something I really want to push,” he said.

“When our younger guys get to rub shoulders with our established players, that really helps you build that sustainable success we’re looking for.”

Watts and his playing group will get to work on their 2019 pre-season campaign in the coming months.

The club is also currently looking for sponsors to join their quest for a championship. Anyone interested can call 9550 3849.