Hume City Broncos have looked to add some experience to their line up for next year’ Big V women’s state championship season.
The Broncos, who made finals this year, will be a different side under new coach Dee Butler.
Butler said one of the first things she noticed about the squad was a lack of experience.
“It’s something we needed, particularly with the advancing of the program to bring it further along,” she said.
“Wiser heads help in close games.”
Former Ballarat Rush captain Kristy Rinaldi is one player expected to help fill that void. Rinaldi played nearly 300 games in 13 years with the Rush in the South Eastern Australia Basketball League (SEABL).
Butler said Rinaldi was keen for a new challenge after so long at the Rush.
“I played against her years ago,” Butler said.
“She’s the type of player who can change the game quickly and defensively is consistently solid. She’s been captain of Ballarat for a number of years.
“She will help build the culture and bring it to an elite level.”
Another recruit who has played at the higher level is Teyla Evans.
Evans has been playing in her home state in the Queensland Basketball League, after previously playing in the SEABL. She was also a development player for the Dandenong Rangers Women’s National Basketball League side.
Butler said Evans wanted to get back to the WNBL.
“One of the things you learn playing at the elite level is how to train,” she said.
“She’s an athlete and hard working.
“I’m excited to get her into the program with the way she goes about things, it will have a ripple effect.
“The goal is for her to get her foot back in the door in the WNBL.”
The Broncos other new signing is Briana Babic. Babic joins her sister Bianca Babic. Butler said Briana is a different type of player to her sister, and wants to take the next step with her basketball.
“We’ve got players who are training for something, not just to make the team better, they want to take the next step.”
Butler said the new recruits now gave the team different guard options.
Sophie Brynes and Nicole Zammit are among players who have re-signed with the Broncos.
Butler said she was looking forward to working with Zammit, having coached against her for a number of years.
She said they were still looking to add some size with their other signings and will probably give youth league players some opportunities.
The club also hoped to sign its first import in the coming days.