Team Preview: Sydney Uni Wheelkings

2012 Bronze medallists the Sydney Uni Wheelkings have addressed their lack of height in 2012 and will be aiming to go one step better in 2013.

Swimmer turned wheelchair basketball Michael Auprince returns to the NWBL this season and will become a focal point in the Wheelkings offence, taking some pressure of last year’s team MVP CJ Grogan. Both Grogan and Auprince are currently overseas competing as a part of the Australian U23s team trying to qualify for the 2013 U23 World Championships which will make them unavailable for round one of the NWBL against Victoria.

The Wheelkings will be one of the teams in a battle for the last one or two play-off spots this season and as a result, games such as this opening weekend against Victoria become vital. If the Wheelkings can win at least 2/3 games against both Victoria and Adelaide this season then fourth spot is theirs for the taking, and with a full squad available come finals, anything is possible.

It’s vital for the Wheelkings to get their season off to a winning start if they are serious about playing finals. Jason Voncina, Kylie Gauci and Sarah Stewart will lead the team into round one and two wins in Victoria would have them placed as early favourites for that fourth play-off spot.

Koen Jansens has been listed on the Wheelkings list for season 2013 and with any luck we will see the long range king suited up and back on court at some stage this season.

Kylie Gauci will do the majority of her work carrying the ball for the Wheelkings but the loss of the bonus point for females may impact her court time and open the door for someone like Josh Meoli. Meoli needs more court time at NWBL intensity to continue his development but he is definitely a player of the future for the Wheelkings.

The Wheelkings will be the team most affected by the loss of the bonus point for female players. The addition of Auprince is a massive bonus and if they can lock down John Mcphail in the near future they are going to be a hard team to beat. The key to the Wheelkings season in 2013 is getting it off to a winning start and only time will tell.

2013 Sydney Uni Wheelkings:

4. Rick Engles (2.5)
5. Josh Meoli (2.5)
7. Koen Jansens (4.0)
9. Sarah Stewart (3.0)
10. Mitchell Stone (1.0) Rookie
11. Kylie Gauci (2.0)
12. Craig Cannane (3.5)
13. Yara Ryan (1.5)
15. Keegan Oh-Chee (2.5)
18. Brad Grove (2.0)
20. Katie Hill (3.0)
22. Rhys Baxter (1.0)
23. Jason Voncina (4.0)
25. Michael Auprince (4.0)
44. Maxwell Illingworth (TBC)

Head Coach: Gerry Hewson
Assistant Coach: Alan Cox
Assistant Coach: Troy Sachs


Written by Joel Mackenzie


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