SEASON PREVIEW: SYDNEY METRO BLUES
Last Year: 11 wins, 7 losses, Runners-Up
Roster: Jess Cronje, Joe Chambers, Rhys Baxter, Georgia Munro-Cook, Kylie Gauci, Darren Skuse, Keltan Williams, Courtney Ryan, Troy Sachs, Taitum Brown, Ben Meoli, Maryanne Latu, Jess Ryan, Yarra Ryan, Josh Meoli, CJ McCarthy-Grogan.
Sydney Metro cannot afford a slow start to this year as their second half of the season does not feature many games and most of them come on the road. Following Round 4 which will be hosted by them, the Blues play five consecutive games away from home in Round 6 and 7 before another bye in Round 8- the final weekend of the regular season.
The Blues impressed throughout 2017 and fought their way through to the Grand Final but the Rollerhawks proved the difference between a silver and gold medal as they finished with a 1-3 record against the Champions. Their work during the off-season will have been focused on being able to get past that final hurdle and they have retained four of their top five scorers from last season. The absence of John McPhail will be felt as he led them for assists as well as scoring in double-digits per game but CJ McCarthy-Grogan (20.6 points, 7.1 rebounds per contest) has the ability to take the slack while Yarra Ryan also tallied 20 assists last season and will be a key member coming off the bench. From the Blues’ WNWBL team, Courtney Ryan is a more than capable scorer and complements a roster full of Gliders talent in Kylie Gauci, Georgia Munro-Cook and Jess Cronje. Coached by Troy Sachs (who has also been named in the playing list...), Sydney Metro will be a focused club in 2018.
One To Watch:
Joe Chambers. The Blues were one of the better teams last year but became a Championship contender when Chambers arrived mid-season. A Paralympian with the USA national team, Chambers is an offensive beast who should lead the competition for scoring if he brings the intensity he brought to his debut NWBL campaign. Across 12 games, he averaged 29.5 points while shooting 61% from the field and collected seven double-doubles. He scored 40+ on three occasions with a season-high of 50 points coming against Kilsyth on 23-26 shooting and those numbers are sure to send shivers down the spines of opponents this year.