Werribee Devils’ coach sets his vision

Reece Potter has taken over as coach of the Werribee Devils division 1 women’s team. (Marco De Luca)

Reece Potter landed his ideal job with the Werribee Devils earlier this year, but over time he found there was still a void in his week that he was eager to fill.

Potter was appointed to the full-time position of player and coaching development manager at the Devils, overseeing the strategic vision and technical pathway, a hugely important role in the future direction of the association.

“I’ve ended up in a good situation here,” Potter said.

“Basketball is pretty much what I think about 24/7, so I’m lucky to work in it full-time as not many people can.”

But Potter missed the exhilaration of coaching on the weekends.

The Werribee resident has worked as a head coach with Launceston Tornadoes in the South East Australian Basketball League and as an assistant coach with Sydney Flames and Canberra Capitals in the Women’s National Basketball League.

Potter wanted that excitement of drawing up match-winning plays in the final two minutes again, so he has taken on the role of women’s coach of the Devils, replacing Mahaela Jackson for 2018. “It’s a good opportunity to get back into coaching week to week, calling time outs, making subs, stuff I can’t do in my day to day role,” Potter said.

“Obviously I’m here in a full-time role as a player and coaching development manager overseeing the whole program, but it’s good to be able to walk the walk as well and lead the women’s team in 2018.

“There’s a big difference in setting up a program, running training programs and coach education programs to actually coaching the game.

“It’s good to be able to do both in this role.”

Not even a year into his three-year contract, Potter can see enormous potential in the Werribee program.

Potter wants to help grow the Devils into the club of choice for ambitious basketballers in the west.

He is adamant the new facilities at Eagle Stadium and the population growth in Wyndham provide a foundation for success if the association builds the right way.

“We’ve got pretty much a brand new 12 court stadium, growing population and more juniors coming into our program, so that’s pretty exciting,” he said.

“I think on the western side of Melbourne, we will be the club of choice within a couple of years and a real powerhouse of Victorian basketball.

“We’re a well known club within the region and we want to continue to grow and improve that brand, and be known as a professional organisation right from our grass roots program through to our elite.

“Hopefully I’ll be able to somewhat impact that in the roles that I’m in.”

Potter wants to get Werribee’s women’s team up to the Big V basketball state championship as soon as possible.

His first aim is to bring home-grown Devils playing at opposition clubs back to Ballan Road to build an even greater sense of community.

“The first priority has been trying to retain or regain as many good local players as we can,” Potter said.

The next quest will be to hit the mark on their import and recruits.

The Devils were unlucky last season with star import Sumar Leslie suffering a mid-season injury that ruled her out for the rest of the campaign.

“The next step will be to see who we can put around our local players,” Potter said.