SEASON PREVIEW: KILSYTH COBRAS
Last Year: 14 wins, 3 losses, Champions
Roster: Josh Allison, Shawn Russell, Brian Carminati, Michael D’Amelio, Tristan Knowles, Jeremy Tyndall, Shaun Groenewegen, Jontee Brown.
The Cobras will not head home until almost the end of June as they make their way through the Cluster Round, a bye in Round 2 and a trip to Perth in Round 3. If they can get through that start relatively unscathed, they can set up a playoff run with six straight home games through Rounds 4-5 and another five consecutive home games to finish the regular season.
Only two teams have ever completed a three-peat in the history of the NWBL but the Cobras have the chance to become the third team in 2017 after achieving the ultimate success in 2015 and 2016. Several members of last year’s Championship winning team have returned and they have a wealth of Rio Paralympic calibre players in Josh Allison, Shawn Russell and Tristan Knowles who won last year’s High-Point MVP while Allison is developing into a star of the league. Coming through the Victorian pipeline, Jeremy Tyndall is also an important part of the Cobras roster and they will be led by coach Shane Furness following a very successful debut last year.
One To Watch:
Brian Carminati. Another local, Carminati is a serious scorer who was a big part of the Australian Under-23 Spinners’ efforts to qualify for the World Championships this June. When captain Tom O’Neill-Thorne got into foul trouble, Carminati was there to take over the scoring load while his performances at the Kevin Coombs Cup over the past two years has him primed to be an even bigger contributor for the Cobras this year.