Looking at results alone, you could be excused for writing off 2017 as a year of disappointment for Whittlesea Pacers’ Big V sides.
None of the club’s four teams made finals. The men’s and youth league men’s sides finished bottom of their divisions and are likely to be relegated.
But results don’t tell the full story.
Pacers’ director of coaching Shannon Bodley said the results weren’t what the club had hoped for this season, but it was headed in the right direction.
“From the outside it looks like we failed as a club,” Bodley said.
“We’ve had conversations in the basketball world and they can see what we are doing. We’re pushing youth up and it will be a two to three year project.”
Bodley said the men’s state championship division side didn’t have much luck across the year.
“It’s not what we want as a club [being relegated], but we had a new coach and it was a rebuilding year,” he said.
“Apart from our import, most of the players could have still been playing youth league.
“We won as many games as last season (three) but avoided relegation then. Maybe division 1 should be where we are at this stage.”
It was a similar story for the youth league men. The Pacers won just three games for the season, but in many of those fielded teams that were on average four to five years younger than their opposition.
In the women’s competition, the division 1 side finished ninth with eight wins. The side had come down from playing in the championship division the season before.
“We had a lot of experience and on paper looked like we had a good side,” Bodley said.
“[But] we had two or three players from last season … a lot of injuries and players going overseas.
“Some games we were playing with seven players … we ran out of legs in a few games, 12 players onto seven is always going to win.”
Bodley said planning for next season had begun. Bodley, who coached the women’s side to a division 1 championship in 2015, has been reappointed director of coaching.