Hawks Start the Re-Focus For 2021
The most commonly used word in the English language these days is Coronavirus or COVID and its impact has obviously been immense. Around Ringwood way though, the Hawks are starting to use a new word. A word that they hope will propel them to a big 2021 NBL1 season.
There was not a huge amount of chest pounding by the Ringwood Hawks men’s team leading up to the 2020 NBL1 season, a disappointing 2019 sent the Hawks back to the drawing board with plenty of work to do. Those close the program, including Coach Ken Harrington believed they were well placed for a run at the play-offs in 2020 had the season gone ahead as planned. But what happens now.
“It is now time to re-focus, that’s the new word we are going to be using.” Harrington said.
“There has been a period of time where the players mourned a lost season but now we all need to look forward and start getting ready for a great 2021."
The Hawks team that would have taken the court this year was arguably the most talented squad on paper the Club has ever seen. New imports Tim Guers and Ricardo Martin were fitting in well and CJ Asuncion-Byrd was putting on a show at most trainings will his explosive athleticism. Asuncion-Byrd has an Australian passport and was the secret weapon that the Hawks were looking for.
The veteran core of the team was back and getting back to their best including Matt Snow who was due to return from knee surgery and be ready for round one and Shaun Clarke and Trevor Latham who were getting themselves in great shape. Nathan Truman and Kaide Fittolani where playing well in the pre-season as was young Angok Angok. Team MVP’s from 2019 Matt Fennell and Adrien Sturt were back and the final piece of the puzzle was Sydney Kings young gun Lachlan Hutchinson who was going to join the team after the NBL Finals were over.
For Harrington and his players, the cancellation of the NBL1 season was incredibly disappointing. It took more than just a few weeks for the coaches and players to process that in all reality they would be missing a whole season of NBL1 basketball. The news was a little tougher for the older players who will soon need to decide if they will commit to working out and be ready for 2021. In reality, it will be close to 2 years between games for all NBL1 teams, so what happens to the Hawks now.
“My thoughts have always been that it would be a massive shame not to see this group of players take the court together.” Harrington said.
“So over the next few months we will talk to all the guys and see if we can get them back onboard. That is how we have to re-focus.”
Time will tell whether the Hawks can get the same 12 players back and the 5 on the Coaching staff for 2021. European teams will be chasing after Guers and the NBL1 will have a different look with most Clubs being effected financially by the COVID situation. This current crop of Hawks has been incredibly loyal over many years and Harrington will no doubt be hoping this continues.
“These guys love the game of Basketball and they love the Club.” He said.
“Sometime soon we are going to ask them if they want to come back and see if this group is as good as we think it could be. But that is up to each individual.”
The wait for season 2021 to start is going to be feel like a lifetime for the Hawks but if the refocus of all the work done for 2020 can now go to 2021, the Hawks are going to be a very exciting team to watch.
But for now it is a time for refocus and not so much about coronavirus.