Sunbury Jets’ move into the Big V state championship men’s division has received a massive boost.
The Jets, who claimed the division 1 title this year, last week announced that league and grand final most valuable player Ish Sanders would return.
The American, who is in his second stint with the Jets, dominated this year, averaging nearly 27 points a game.
Jets coach Ryan Addison said it was massive to get Sanders back on board. “It’s great news, isn’t it?”Addison said.
“Last year was my first year with him and he’s just an amazing player. He is a high character person and good to have around the club.
“Especially with the move up into champ, it gives us some consistency.”
Addison said he and Sanders were both confident that he could step up to a higher division and have a big impact.
He said in a couple of practice games last season, Sanders held his own against some top guards.
Having Sanders back ensures the Jets have some experience in what is otherwise a young list.
New Zealander Joel Jeffrey isn’t returning, while Kris Blicavs has a new job in Geelong, which means he won’t be back either.
Addison said the impact that Blicavs had in a short period of time at his junior club was massive.
“His leadership helped us get where we are,” he said.
“Those guys learned from him and it makes a difference to them as players and leaders.”
Addison said Arthur Trousdell was unsure what his plans were.
While they’ve lost some experience, the Jets have retained their core group of young players.
Addison said that remained a focus of the program.
“The likes of Nathan Marshall, Nathan Baker, Ben Jones and Corey Bellman are returning,” he said.
“It’s something Sunbury wanted us to focus on and have some good locals there. It’s good for the long term development.”
Addison said Marshall was one who was really standing out in pre-season and was looking forward to taking on extra responsibility.
The Sunbury Jets are yet to finalise their roster. Addison said the main aim was signing a second import.
He said they were hopefully close to announcing someone in the next couple of weeks.
Addison said it was an exciting time for the club with the men’s side joining the women’s team in state championship next year.
“It’s looking like a good roster,” he said.
“We’re trying to get a roster together that will be competitive.
“When you do the hard work it pays off in March when the season kicks off.”