Joyce announces squad for first camp as Rio draws near
21 March 2016
BASKETBALL: The Australian Opals have named a squad to head into the first training camp from March 29-April 3 including six players who have been deemed potentially injured or unavailable.
The camp will provide the first opportunity for coach Brendan Joyce to continue to build the team chemistry and cohesion that was developed at the 2014 World Championships when Australia took home the bronze medal.
“We believe these players that will attend the first camp have a legitimate opportunity to make it onto the final Jayco Opals team, including the players that are still injured or unavailable,” said Joyce.
“We are working on developing the team chemistry to maintain that special feeling we had at the World Championships.
“It was a very important ingredient in our success in Turkey and I believe it will be an integral part in us getting on the podium at Rio as new players can come in to the team and simply join the comradery that has already been established.”
Laura Hodges is the only player not expected to attend the camp as she is still competing in France.
“We have looked for players that have the potential to go into the final squad as well as players that have already been within the program.
“Marianna is ahead of schedule as far as her injury goes. Brad Davidson and I have worked with her a couple of times a week at the Centre of Excellence and she is looking very good. We should know more about Lauren [Jackson’s] chances by the end of this week.”
With the full coaching staff, Joyce has already made three difficult decisions by not naming Belinda Snell, Kelly Wilson and Maddie Garrick for the camp.
“While I have been here, Snelly and Kelly’s commitment over the three years to the Opals program has been tremendous,” said Joyce.
“These are not easy decisions for the coaching staff to make but it’s important to make the decision early and let the girls know.
“Snelly will be invited to one of the camps in the next few months to help celebrate her career and commitment to the Opals with the entire team. For Maddie, we definitely see her as a player of the future.”
The first camp will be held at Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Canberra.
“Traditionally, a majority of Opals camps have been in Canberra and the players enjoy the fact that everything is in the one place and within walking distance. The Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence provides the resources and ability to service the players in the best way possible."
Rebecca Allen SEQ Stars
Suzy Batkovic Townsville Fire
Sara Blicavs Dandenong Rangers
Abby Bishop University of Canberra Capitals
Natalie Burton Perth Lynx
Elizabeth Cambage Shanghai
Stephanie Cumming Dandenong Rangers
Katie-Rae Ebzery Sydney Flames
Cayla George Townsville Fire
Rachel Jarry SEQ Stars
Alice Kunek Melbourne Boomers
Tessa Lavey Perth Lynx
Tess Madgen Melbourne Boomers
Carley Mijovic Perth Lynx
Leilani Mitchell Adelaide Lightning
Erin Phillips LA Sparks
Stephanie Talbot University of Canberra Capitals
Penny Taylor Phoenix Mercury
Laura Hodges - Bourges (France)
Lauren Jackson – University of Canberra Capitals
Kelsey Griffin – Bendigo Spirit
Lauren Mansfield – SEQ Stars
Elyse Penaluna – Melbourne Boomers