Hard work paying off for Wyndham

Tanielle Knight is one of Wyndham's rising stars. (Wyndham Basketball)

Tara Murray

The hard work off the court is paying off for Wyndham in the Big V women’s state championship division.

After a slow start to the season, Wyndham has won its last six games and sit second on the table.

Wyndham coach Gerard Hillier said like many teams the biggest challenge had been getting their whole team on the court.

He said they were yet to have everyone available at the one time.

“We have won six games which is pretty pleasing,” he said. “For us it’s more about getting the majority of the team on the floor at the one time. Hopefully that should happen in the next couple of weeks.

“COVID is still keeping players off the court. We had two young girls, Tanielle Knight and Dyani Ananiev, at the under-19 Australian camp and then the under-20 nationals.”

Hillier said while they were struggling to get their whole line up on the court, the group had been doing a lot of hard work behind the scenes.

“We wanted people who would commit to extra workouts and sessions,” he said. “But developing a strong squad that is buying into what we’re doing, we’re getting wins on the weekend.

“There’s still plenty of work on how we want to play and what’s required to win a championship.”

Hillier said the experiences that Knight and Ananiev had brought back to the club are invaluable, as the club continued to focus on youth.

“Our whole focus is on the young players like them and Lauren Jones,” he said. “We want to achieve and have high end junior players.

“They are really important for us.”

While Wyndham has started the season well, Hillier is all too aware of how quick the season can change.

Several teams haven’t been at full strength for large parts of the season.

“We’ve played a couple of teams twice already,” he said.

“The difference between the first and second times, they’ve had completely different rosters.

“It’s an interesting landscape where you rock up expecting something and have something different there.”

Wyndham will get a clear idea of where it sits in the coming weeks. It plays third placed McKinnon Cougars and ladder leaders Bulleen Boomers, twice each in the next four weeks.

“After those weeks, we’ll know where we stand,” Hillier said. “We’re confident we will go well.”

Things aren’t going just well in the Big V competition for Wyndham.

Hillier said things were flying across all their programs.

“Lucas Allen is running the majority of the development programs and we’ve put on additional sessions to account for all the kids.

“Our Aussie Hoops program has 300 kids. By the mid-point of year we’re looking at having the largest program in the country.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of clubs around the country and it’s completely opposite. It’s a good position to be in.”