Well, every 2 years the NWBL breaks for the month of July while either the Paralympic Games or in this case World Champs occur! This is a tough time for some NWBL teams as they lose their best players and sometimes the work ethic and attitude withers away during this time. I can also imagine that many teams do not even train during this time, but not the Perth Wheelcats. We hit the court harder than ever during this period to make sure when the business end of the season begins we are ready to take care of it! Sure, there is no doubt that the tempo at training has a higher likelyhood of going down but with the experience and knowledge of some of the players not attending thw World Champs we can navigate easier through the hard times! We know what this is like, the Perth Wheelcats have had this challenge contnuously throughout at least the past 6 years. We also know what lays ahead on the other side of this break and how easy it can be taken away from us if we don't train hard!
Western Australia is represented 6 players attending this years World Champs, 5 of which are apart of the Perth Wheelcats 2010 playing squad! Justin Eveson, Shaun Norris, Mike Hartnett and Brad Ness will be suiting up for the Rollers and Clare Burzynski and Amber Merritt for the Gliders! All with the exception of Ness will join the Wheelcats in late July to help the team prepare for the final charge towards the 2010 NWBL Championships!
July 24th and 25th see the Wheelcats take on Adelaide away from home before they return and play Dandenong Rangers the next weekend at home! Two great weekends which gives us plenty of opportunity to ease back in to the season and get our finals campain underway. The weekend after will see the Wheelcats undertake the biggest challenge thus far in 2010, a triple header away. Two games of which we play against the very strong Wollongong Rollerhawks at their home ground Shell Harbour Stadium! These 2 games will be by far the most challenging aside from the finals for this year, we will be taking our strongest side possible to go up against the likes of Knowles, Stibners and Rouillard! After we return home we have a week off before taking on the young and very tenacious West Sydney Razorbacks in a stand alone game on Sunday 22nd of August at our home "The Cage". 28th and 29th of August will see us fly out to Brisbane to wrap up the regular season against the Spinning Bullets!
After that it is full steam ahead on the training court for about 3 weeks before we head back over to Shell Harbour for the NWBL Finals! 10 games in the matter of 5 weeks for the rest of the NWBL season, it is amazing what these committed athletes can do!
As for the World Champs about to get underway in Birmingham, England, good luck to all Australians taking part in the games. It will be a tough challenge, the Rollers have Turkey and Canada in their pool. I have no doubt the Rollers will take care of business and finish top, on the otherside of the pool will be power houses Great Britain and the US! My tips for the semi finals will be Rollers v US and Canada v GB! For the final Rollers v GB! Finally, Rollers by at least 20 to bring home the gold!
As for the girls they have a tough challenge ahead, they have Canada and the Netherlands in their pool, both of which are teams the Gliders have lost to this year but are both teams that the Gliders are capable of winning against if the girls play well! I have no doubt that the Gliders will pull it together and finish within the top 2 of their pool, in the other pool Germany and the US will be waiting. The US are seeded number 1 and that is where I think they will finish in their pool! The Gliders will have to do the hard work early as I know they will want to finish as high as they can in their pool and take on Germany in a semi final! Germany is definitley a team the Gliders can beat, but it will be up to them to take care of business!
I will be watching all the stats live and cheering for Australia from all the way back home.
Til next time,