WNBL | Team Preview – Townsville Fire

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.

The Fire are the penultimate team in the series, looking to defend their title and go for a second consecutive WNBL title.

Townsville Fire

2022/23 record – 17 wins, four losses


Alice Kunek, Cassandra Brown, Courtney Woods, Jessica McDowell-White, Mikaela Ruef, Saffron Shiels, Sami Whitcomb, Steph Reid, Tianna Hawkins, Zitina Aokuso

The Fire will enter the season as the championship favourites after a simply dominant performance to close out last fixture.

Townsville is currently on a 16-game winning streak including finals, and has shown no signs of slowing down. The Fire delivered a superb off-season, not only re-signing some key figures in their championship-winning squad, but also nailing their additions to acquire even more star power.

The signings of Whitcomb and Kunek were outstanding for the team’s hopes of going back to back, with both set to feature heavily in the starting lineup.

Whitcomb will combine with Reid to form one of the best backcourts in the league, and will offer a plethora of leadership as an added bonus too. On the other hand, Kunek returns to the WNBL after a stint in Europe, and has already proven herself as one of the best small forwards in the country, so it is fair to say the Fire added a fair amount of talent to a side that is already reigning champs.

Townsville also did a tremendous job of retaining the players that drove them to the ultimate prize last time around. Hawkins was the big one to keep, and the reigning Finals MVP will go around again for the Fire. She will lineup next to Ruef in the frontcourt, with the pair looking to produce the same output that delivered them to a championship last time.

It is hard to go past the Fire as championship favourites entering the upcoming WNBL season, having only added to their already-stacked lineup over the off-season.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments