WNBL Champions Watch – Southside Flyers
EVERY player or team in competitive sport has the goal of winning their respective title or championship, and all their work builds up to a shot at it. Unfortunately, only one can be victorious, with those unsuccessful left with a hunger to dethrone those ahead of them.
An issue that is less talked about comes for the victors, as they often do not carry this same motivation. Once you’re at the top, where is there to go from there? This problem often haunts many successful sides, making consecutive championships and dynasties incredibly elusive.
In the most recent Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) season, the Southside Flyers were far and away the strongest team in the competition for the entirety of the year. Their scoring was unparalleled and the team was simply too talented for opposition sides to slow down.
The Flyers were stacked with stars, and their system was built around this. They were able to take full advantage of the talent on their list, which is what all the great sides do. The risk that comes with this is a reliance on player retention, but thankfully for this team, their list is so talented, they can afford to see a small level of player turnover.
If the Flyers want to achieve consecutive titles, they will only need to look back to the past couple of years, where the Canberra Capitals were able to achieve back-to-back championships in 2019 and 2020. The Capitals were a force to be reckoned with during this time, and were able to overcome many obstacles to claim this period as their own.
Ironically, their second title came after a grand final win over the Southside Flyers themselves, as they claimed a two game sweep in the best of three series. Capitals coach Paul Goriss was able to adapt to any challenge that presented itself to his side, and the Flyers will be looking to do the same.
The Flyers were outrageously good at the offensive end all year, averaging the most points per game and shooting over fifty percent from the field. This was a team that was unstoppable at times with the ball in their hands, and they capped off a magical year with the league title.
It still remains to be seen as to whether or not they will be able to maintain these high-scoring ways, especially with the departure of Liz Cambage. Cambage led not only her side, but the league in scoring last season with 23.5 points per game, and her skill and size often saw her the focal point of the team’s offence.
The loss of a superstar will be one of the biggest obstacles the side will face, but crisis creates opportunity, and the Flyers have plenty of talented players who can step up to the challenge posed this season.
The Flyers still have plenty of avenues to scoring, demonstrated by their league-high 97.4 points per game, so if they can re-establish this scoring prowess, they will likely be back at the top of the competition once again.
Picture credit: Southside Flyers via Facebook