Keilor Thunder is hard at work constructing its squads to be contenders in the Big V senior competitions in 2020.
The Thunder got a head start with stability in its coaching ranks with both the men’s and women’s coaches re-signing for next season.
Tom Bandilovski, who took the Thunder’s women’s championship team to the grand final last season, has re-signed, along with Liam Glascott, who fell just one game short of taking the men’s championship team to the playoffs.
“It was a priority for us to re-sign our coaches at the end of the season,” Thunder operations manager Jason La Rocca said.
“Players see that stability and it kind of filters down from there.
“It helps them prepare for the season coming in and knowing what to expect from their coaches. “It was no-brainers for us to retain the coaches.”
Keilor women’s team came agonisingly close to taking out the championship title last year.
Keilor Thunder lost the best-of-three grand final series in heartbreaking fashion to Werribee on their home court in game three.
“It was neck-and-neck the whole series,” La Rocca said. “We viewed ourselves as kind of on-par with Werribee.
“I don’t think there was much in it at all and it was just on the day that they were a little bit better than us.”
Keilor is hoping the acquisition of new import Claire Lundberg can boost its chance of going one step better.
Lundberg, who signed last week, joins the Thunder after showing qualities at both ends of the floor for Montana State University, where she averaged 17 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.1 steals and an assist per game.
She has impressive shooting percentages from all areas of the court, making her a threat from mid-range and beyond the arc.
La Rocca is excited to have a player of Lundberg’s quality on board.
“Any time you get an import, you’re getting them thinking and hoping they’re going to not only be not only an on-court performer, but a leader amongst the group as well,” he said.
“The coaches will definitely pencil her in as a leader on the team.”
Keilor has re-signed Ellen Kett and Genna Anderson from last season’s roster.
The Thunder have brought in new recruits Ally Keating and Casey Valenti-Paea, while promoting youth players Amelia Velardo and Victoria Ikenasio.
After a big finish to last season, Kett’s signature was important for the Thunder.
In the men’s program, ambitious youngster Paul Tsapatolis has re-committed to Keilor, along with Brad Kelleher. L