Altona Gators have been forced to drop their Big V Basketball senior women’s program for the 2018 season.
The Gators have been told to regroup before relaunching their senior women’s team.
The league’s decision to drop the Gators out of the women’s division 2 competition comes after they finished last season with a shocking 0-20 record.
Gators director of coaching Randy Shanklin was disappointed by the decision.
“We wanted the women’s program in this season,” he said.
“We didn’t fare too well in the past two seasons, so they [Big V Basketball] didn’t feel as though we earned our place in the league.
“The plan is to come back next season if they allow us back in.
“It’s just disappointing for our players who are too old for youth league who won’t get to play.”
It should not be too long before Altona returns to senior women’s basketball.
The Gators have a thriving youth women’s program, which won a premiership two years ago and finished in the finals in a promotion season last year.
“We’re doing well, we’re on track,” Shanklin said.
“After winning the grand final a couple of years ago, last year we were the first team to make the finals in our first season after moving up.
“I like where we’re going and we’re still providing opportunities for our young kids.”
What Altona will not do is look for quick fixes with its senior women’s team.
The Gators want to continue to promote homegrown youngsters until such time as it competes at the top or near the top of the grades.
Some have asked Shanklin about the possibility of bringing in an import, but he will not entertain the thought while the Gators are in division 2.
“No,” he said matter-of-factly.
“That’s a joke to have imports in
division 2 basketball and there’s lot of teams that have imports in that division. We won’t ever be using an import until we move up
to division 1 or probably even state championship.
“I don’t think it’s necessary. We develop our own players and I think good coaches can put good teams on the floor.”
It is a case of as you were for Altona’s coaching set-up this season.
Shanklin will remain in charge of the Gators youth women’s team, Des Radoslovic is coach of the men’s division 2 and David Nesbitt will lead the men’s youth team.
All eyes will be on the Gators men’s division 2 team that was left flat by their 8-14 record last season.
They did, however, grab a number of big scalps, suggesting it could quickly rise up the ladder this season.
“I thought we competed very well last season and we had some decent wins over good teams, but the games that we should have won, we didn’t win,” Shanklin said.
“There’s an opportunity for us to make the finals this season.”