WNBL | Team Preview – Sydney Flames

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.

Reaching the pointy end of our series, next up are the Sydney Flames, who will be hoping to put the troubles of last season in the rear view mirror.

Sydney Flames

2022/23 record – Six wins, 15 losses


Cayla George, Didi Richards, Emma Clarke, Kiera Rowe, Lara McSpadden, Lauren Nicholson, Paige Bradley, Shaneice Swain, Tess Madgen, Vanessa Panousis

Looking to put the turmoil of last season behind them, the Flames loaded up with some proven WNBL talent and have produced one of the best rosters in the league heading into the 2023/24 fixture.

Sydney managed just six wins from 21 games last time, good enough for sixth place by season’s end. However, the Flames are now one of the early favourites to book a finals spot thanks to the addition of some star power that is sure to catapult the team up the rankings.

The two big additions of the off-season were George and Nicholson, who are both established stars of the WNBL and immediately put Sydney into contention. George is the reigning WNBL Most Valuable Player after a dominant campaign with the Boomers last season, while Nicholson is coming off a championship-winning run with the Fire.

Both players bring a pedigree of winning experience to the table, and should be among the best players not only on the team, but in the competition this season.

The Flames also added Swain, but she will miss the start of the season through injury, while import Richards was named to the All-WNBA Rookie First Team just a couple of years ago, and certainly has the talent to emerge as a star of the league.

Head coach Guy Molloy has coached the likes of George and Madgen in the past, and will now how to best play the star duo. The Flames have no shortage of top-end talent on their roster, and are predicted to finish inside the top-four this season.

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