Keilor Thunder has been granted promotion to the Big V basketball women’s state championship for 2018.
That means both the Thunder women and men will be in the top division next season.
Thunder women’s coach Tom Bandilovski was thrilled when confirmation came through from Basketball Victoria of his team’s top-flight status.
The Thunder this season finished runner-up in division 1, but promotion is not automatic.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” he said. “We were hoping to get there in two years and we got there in one year.
“Now we need to prove that we’re worth it. We’ll work hard and we’ll play hard.”
The news comes as Keilor extended the contracts of both Bandilovski and men’s coach Liam Glascott.
Bandilovski has re-signed all players from last year, but will be on the lookout for two new imports. For those import spots, the Thunder will be targeting a dominant centre and a versatile wing.
“This is what we’re working on at the moment,” he said. “Last year we didn’t do well with the import, so hopefully this time will be a different case.
“We’re targeting two, but you know how it is – we might end up with one. We’re carefully looking at all options, so hopefully we’ll choose well.”
The imports will be the cherry on the top for Keilor. Bandilovski is confident the nine players remaining from last season’s roster have the ability and drive to make a success of their step up in grade.
“All other players – nine of them – they’re all staying, which is good news, so we’ll work with them to improve everything,” he said.
“Skill, speed, strength – we’ll work on that and we’re starting very soon.
“We have the team already, but we’re just looking at the imports.”