"We Can Be The Team To Beat"
As the 2014 NWBL season builds towards an epic climax, RSL QLD Spinning Bullets Head Coach Jeremy Synot says there’s no reason they can’t be the ones to be lifting the Charles Ryan Trophy on Grand Final day.
“I think we’ll go up and collect gold on that afternoon.”
“That’s putting pressure on the guys but I think if we can put it together, we can be the team to beat”.
The Bullets fly to Perth this weekend to take on the league leaders in what shapes as possibly the series of the year and Synot says they’re very much looking forward to testing themselves against the 2014 pace setters.
“Perth is a big monster to tackle, but when I hear the belief amongst our playing group, that gives me a lot of confidence” says the rookie coach.
“The thing with Perth is you just have to be disciplined; you know it’s not Justin Eveson and Shaun Norris that do the damage, its Michael Hartnett and Andrew Liddawi.”
“Our offense has really been cooking and I think even off the bench we’ve probably got enough offense to beat them, it’s just whether we can lock it down on the defensive end”.
Brisbane and Perth have only met once this year in a game where Perth ran away 22 point winners, but with second spot and a double chance on the line for the Bullets this weekend; Synot says they’ll be a different team when the first game tips off at 7:00pm (WST) on Saturday night.
“We’ve had a perfect preparation and you know I think last time we played Perth we probably went into the game with our eyes shut. We had our pants pulled down a little bit and it was probably our only really disappointing loss this year and the only time we felt like we were really beaten.”
Despite finishing third in 2013, Synot says he’s seen remarkable improvement in his 2014 squad.
Bill Latham has been welcomed back and has returned 24.8 points, 9.6 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game and as nice as it is to have a world class player like Latham back in the line-up, Synot says the biggest improvement has come from his middle tier players.
“Players like Jake Fulwood, Shelley Cronau, Ella Sabljak. Matthew McShane is our captain and nobody, in the league, probably knows who he is. Internally we probably rate him right up there with some of the big name stars that we have and he’s really pushing that kind of elite level.”
And then you got a guy like Agustin Alonso who is probably the most underrated big man in the NWBL”.
“I feel we’re sort of like Fremantle in the AFL; we’ve got a bunch of guys that are really underrated and don’t get the respect in the league they probably deserve.”
With player movements during the offseason, it was Victoria and Wollongong who were talked about as potentially Perth’s biggest challengers in 2014, but it’s the Spinning Bullets that have emerged as Perth’s biggest threat to their 8th National Championship.
To put into perspective the kind of season the Spinning Bullets are having, they’ve only lost four games this season including two to Victoria by a combined 4 points. Had those results gone the other way, they would this weekend be playing off for the minor premiership against the Wheelcats.
Despite his confidence, Synot says they are under no illusions of the task that lay ahead of them.
“We’ve got the utmost respect for all the other teams that will be playing in the finals this year but if we can beat Perth this weekend, we will take the confidence in knowing that we can beat any team in the league.”
“I wouldn’t be laying money down on any result this year but when it comes down to it, I’ll be backing my boys [and girls] 100%”.
Written by Joel Mackenzie