SEASON PREVIEW: RED DUST HEELERS
RED DUST HEELERS
Last Year: 5 wins, 12 losses, 4th
Roster: Kathleen O’Kelly-Kennedy, Adam Deans, Taishar Ovens, Shelley Chaplin, Ryan Morich, Clare Nott, Jannik Blair, Rob Pike, Jake Kavanagh, Brad Ness, Sam White, Georgia Inglis, Derek Richards and Tony Wade.
Red Dust’s season tips off against the newest team in the league in Adelaide before they face a bronze medal re-match against the Roller Hawks the following day. They host home games in Round 2, 4 and 5 but face a potentially tough run home to the finals with a triple-header in Kilsyth to round out the regular season.
While only winning five matches through the regular season, the Heelers showed they are capable of reaching the podium as they pushed the Roller Hawks all the way in last year’s bronze medal game. Under the on-court tutelage of Brad Ness, who will remain a player for Red Dust despite moving into a coaching role with the Rollers, the Heelers are always going to a threat. Two-time Paralympian Jannik Blair is coming off a season in which he won the Low-Point MVP, Sam White is an experienced US College player who won back-to-back titles and with a team now in the WNWBL, players like Clare Nott and Kathleen O’Kelly-Kennedy will have a chemistry on court that could come in handy.
One To Watch:
Jake Kavanagh. One of the rising stars in the league, Kavanagh averaged career-highs in points (7.2), rebounds (4.1) and assists (2.6) per game last season while hitting 47% from the field and 72% from the charity stripe. Over Easter this year, he toured the Netherlands and Belgium with the Rollers which would have been a major confidence booster heading into this season as well as helping with his on court connections with Blair and Adam Deans.