WNBL Team Preview – Southside Flyers

THE Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) is getting extremely close to commencing its 2023/24 season, with the opener set to take place on November 1.

Last season, there was plenty of excitement as locals and imports alike fired for each of the eight teams, with a plethora of highlights gathering plenty of attention to one of the fastest growing women’s basketball competitions in the world.

The Townsville Fire won their last 16 games of the season (including finals), and claimed the ultimate prize in a dominant finish to their campaign. They will now become the hunted as seven other sides look to prevent them from going back to back.

There were plenty of player movements over the off-season too, as sides load up with a mixture of homegrown and international talent for the upcoming fixture, changing the landscape of the competition.

With that in mind, Rookie Me Central will be placing each side under the microscope, taking a look how all eight sides are faring in the build up to the season.

Having reached the halfway point of the series, the next team on the agenda are the Southside Flyers, who will be determined to add a fifth title after falling out of the finals last season.

Southside Flyers

2022/23 record – 15 wins, six losses


Carley Ernst, Dallas Loughridge, Jasmine Dickey, Klara Wischer, Lauren Jackson, Leilani Mitchell, Lou Brown, Maddison Rocci, Mercedes Russell, Nyadiew Puoch, Rebecca Cole

The Flyers finished second last season, but could not topple the quality opposition they faced during the finals (Townsville was unstoppable) and fell short of adding title number five.

For Southside this year, it is all about health, as it has built a roster that has plenty of star power, and it will be about keeping everyone on the court.

Australia’s greatest ever player in Jackson will remarkably go around once again, but will miss the start of the season through injury. As will Rocci, but if the pair can return to the court by the pointy end of the season, it will go a long way for the Flyers’ championship hopes.

Russell is a great addition for the Flyers, having proven herself as a seriously impressive paint presence. When Jackson returns, the pair should be hard to stop in the post on both ends of the court, and could be a championship-winning factor.

Puoch is another exciting prospect for Southside, and will likely have a significant impact as a starting forward for the team. At just 19 years of age, she has been flagged as a future Opal, given her ability to block shots and make the most of her athletic gifts. Expect her to be one of the breakout stars of the WNBL this season.

The Flyers will be around the mark again this season, and if some players can step up in the absence of Jackson and Rocci in the early stages of the fixture, Southside can do some serious damage when it matters most.

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