Bacchus Marsh is making a foray into senior representative basketball with the club to field a men’s team in the Country Basketball League.
Wanting to provide a pathway for their juniors, the Lions have formed a team to face some of the best country teams in the state.
Co-coach Jeff Feben said it was something they needed to do to take their basketball program to the next level.
Until now, their highest representative side was under-21s.
Feben will coach the side with Shannon Peterson. The two have previously coached together elsewhere. Grant McMillian is the assistant coach.
“It’s really part of the progression to develop a senior program and pathway into men’s basketball,” Feben said.
“It’s a platform into the Big V metro competition at some point. We’ll look at doing our time in the CBL and get our credentials. What we’re trying to do is make it more than just playing basketball, but making it an event each game and getting the town behind us.”
Feben, who is also the Lions’ coaching director, said there had been a lot of interest in players wanting to join the side.
He said 28 players tried out and they settled on a squad of 14.
“There was a lot of player interest from players in our program and players outside our program,” he said.
“There’s some players that have left to go to a higher level and want to come back and help Bacchus Marsh set up the program.
“There was a really good selection and some quality players to come out of Big V competition.”
Melton Thoroughbreds Big V captain Jordan Kirk will provide plenty of experience, keen to keep fit in the Big V off season.
Billy Feben, who has been playing with the Geelong Supercats, is part of the squad, along with Sunbury Jets’ Mitch Barnes and Daniel Jackson.
Diquan Williams, who used to play for the Jets and ex-Melton player Jake Raynor are also part of the team.
Feben said they were happy with how the team was looking.
“The squad looks good. We’re strong through to eight or nine, who are very experienced.
“Then we’ve got some lesser experienced players and have a junior development player.”
Feben said they had set some high expectations for themselves.
“I want to make finals and with the group of players we’ve got, I think we can give it a push.
“But we don’t have a lot of experience and exposure against the teams we’re playing so it is hard to know.”
The Lions start their season on October 13 at the Bacchus Marsh Leisure Centre against the Hamilton Hurricanes.