By Tara Murray
The Sunbury Jets have announced two key signings for their new look squad ahead of the Big V women’s state championship season.
After successfully fielding a similar line-up the last few years, the Jets will be a different team under new coach John White.
White said after a slow start things were starting to come together.
“Jacinta [Beckley] had her first session on Tuesday and picked up where she left off,” White said.
“The rest of the squad is actually coming together really nicely. We’ve got another import to announce in the coming week.
“We’ve got a really good group of young girls coming through and Courtenay Wragg is also returning from last year.
“I’m really excited about the talent within the club and the talent we’ve been able to put in and around them, to really bolster the squad.”
The Jets announced the signings of Ida Andersson and Samantha Donald last week. Andersson is from Sweden, via the college system in America.
White said Andersson would bring a hard-nosed defensive edge to the side and versatility to the offence.
“She has been involved in college over in the States in both div 1 and 2 and the Swedish national set-up as well,” he said.
“She’s been out here for a while with her fiancé [John Roberson] who plays in the NBL.
“We had a bit of a hint she was out here and I went and had a bit of look at her at practice with Southside Flyers.
“We loved what she stood for as a player … she has really impressed us really early with her work ethic and level of skills being really high. She’s exceeded what we expected.”
White has seen first hand what Donald can do, having coached against her last season.
Donald had been playing with the Waverley Falcons in NBL1.
“When I was coaching NBL1 last year, she put us to the sword by herself,” White said.
“We really needed someone to run the show from the point. She has a really hard competitive edge to her and can see on the practice court and I saw first hand last year as well.
“She’s a great fit for the group.”
White said one of his major focuses this season at Sunbury would be ensuring that some of the young talent coming through the ranks at Sunbury will get plenty of opportunity.
He highlighted two younger players, who he expected would really step up.
“Chloe Angove was with our youth champ team last and the state champ team,” he said.
“This year she’ll make the transition straight into the state champ women’s team.
“Then there’s younger girls like Kiralee Collings who is already in our under-18 setup.
“Again she had some time with our youth girls and state champ women’s team last year and we will look to really integrate her into the senior women’s program this year, around her under-18s commitments.
“I’m really excited to get them on the right track.”