Team Preview: Be Active Perth Wheelcats

The Be Active Perth Wheelcats aren’t used to losing and back to back silver medals will have them hungrier than ever in 2013.

Perth has gone through a golden era of wheelchair basketball and unfortunately for the rest of the NWBL it’s far from over with the team back to full strength, welcoming back; Justin Eveson, Brad Ness and Michael Hartnett in 2013. Add Shaun Norris to the list and Perth boasts four of the starting five players from the Australian Rollers starting five from the last two Paralympic Games.

Perth will be difficult to beat in 2013 and not just because of their Roller representatives. Their depth off the bench is the reason team has been so strong for so long with players like; Adam Deans, Kim Robins, Robbie Pike, Andrew Liddawi, Kayl Jeffrey and Jake Kavanagh who would all normally find themselves in the starting five of most NWBL teams.

With so much depth, Coach Kelvin Browner is forced to make difficult decisions with team selections and combinations. Only time will tell as to how the Wheelcats will start and whether they’ll opt to start 4.5-4.0-3.0-1.5-1.0 (Eveson-Deans-Norris-Liddawi-Hartnett) or whether they’ll make room for Rollers Captain Brad Ness and go with 4.5-4.5-3.0-1.0-1.0 (Eveson-Ness-Norris-Hartnett-Vinci). The depth of the team is a real luxury that most teams are not afforded and may even see the Wheelcats experiment with some mid-point combinations throughout the season.

The Be Active Perth Wheelcats are a serious offensive team and will regularly put up big scores. In the past two seasons they have been exposed defensively by reigning champions the Wollongong Rollerhawks and if they are going to turn those silver medals into gold, the improvement will have to come at the defensive end of the floor.

Will 2013 be the year the Wheelcats get back on top? Their team list runs deeper than any other team in the NWBL and would have to be the early season favourites for 2013.

2013 Be Active Perth Wheelcats:

4. Sarah Vinci (1.0)
5. Brett Nicholson (2.0)
6. Michael Hartnett (1.0)
7. Amber Merritt (4.5)
8. Adam Deans (4.0)
10. Shaun Norris (3.0)
11. Justin Eveson (4.5)
12. Robbie Pike (4.0)
13. Jake Kavanagh (3.0) Junior
14. Brad Ness (4.5)
15. Ryan Morich (4.5) Junior
20. Kayl Jeffery (2.5)
21. Georgis Inglis (2.5) Junior
22. Kim Robins (3.0)
31. Andrew Liddawi (1.5)
50. Sam Clark (3.5)


Head Coach: Kelvin Browner
Assistant Coach: Tim Allan
Physiotherapist: Katey Neates


Written by Joel Mackenzie


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