Doug Garvie – Head Coach, Gold Coast Rollers Men
“It is fair to say we have had a very disruptive season so far with injuries to key players and recently we have had to let one of our imports go.
The spirit is still very high in the group and coaching staff, we are training really hard and I can see from recent results we are just turning the corner and the W’s are close.
Earlier in the season we lacked depth as our imports and key players were in and out with injuries. Throughout the middle part of the season we finished the games well but our starts let us down. In recent weeks and in particularly in two of the last three games we have started strongly but finished poorly and one of those games we lost on the buzzer. So there is enough signs there to say another win is not far away.
Last week we played Brisbane who would have to be one of the favourites to win the competition this year and definitely the best team in the south. We started very strongly and were down by 1 point at half time. In the second half they turned on the physicality in the game and we couldn’t match them.
This week we play a double header against Southwest who are one place ahead of us on the ladder and Logan who are two places above us. Both games are very winnable. The key for us in beating Southwest is containing Ishmael Hollis who is one of the most dynamic and exciting players in the league. If he gets off one of his thundering dunks it will be hard to keep the crowd quiet. Again, Logan are very balanced in scoring with 3 players around 11 ppg and Mitch Young at 17 ppg. So the key for us would be to not let any of these players get a big score.
I have been in and around the league for a while now and I believe this is the strongest I have seen it for quite a while. The imports are high class and the coaching is outstanding and it makes for a very competitive league and fun to watch for the spectators.”
Nikki Bairstow – Head Coach Northside Wizards Women
“We had a brutal start to our QBL season, with no wins from the first 5 games. It was challenging time, but persistence began to pay off as the group dug deep and won 7 from the last 9 games.
The loss to Gladstone (Round 7) has shown the group they can compete with any team in the league, although disappointing, we took many positives from that contest on the road. The loss to Bundaberg (Round 10) at Brendale two weeks ago could be the catalyst that may end up costing us a home semi-final. The group was unhappy with that performance and have continued to work hard, taking a win last week against Toowoomba in Round 11.
At 7-7 and three regular games remaining against Suncoast (Round 12), Ipswich (Round 14) and Logan (Round 15), there is no question that we are steering our focus towards finals. Our WNBL recruits, Emma Langford and Nadeen Payne, in addition to the valuable experience of Louise Brown, Aja Parham, Kat Hollis and Katie Harris will certainly be our money in the bank in the lead up to play-offs. When these guys are rocking, it’s nice to watch.
There is some anxiety amongst teams across the pools, with some major shake-ups possible with final ladder placings. Gladstone and Rockhampton have two hit-outs in the next few rounds, which will certainly keep everyone on their toes in the top half of the ladder. These teams have set the benchmark in the QBL and it will be interesting to see who can handle the pressure in the next few weeks.
We envisage on building on some recent quality play and we need to simply take it to teams. We have the experience in our roster to go on, but it will take belief and selflessness.”