The Ararat Redbacks women’s team will open its Country Basketball League season against the Geelong Supercats in Ararat on Saturday night.
The team will be the first Ararat squad to take to the court in the CBL in more than a decade in what will be an exciting moment for the city’s basketball community.
The Ararat Basketball Association has yet to lock in a coach with the men’s team coach Steve Cronin taking the reins until a decision is made.
Cronin set he has no expectations on the team for the season opening match.
“It is the unknown with the girls I think, with most of them having not competed at this level before,” he said.
“It is a good experience for them and I have told them just to enjoy the game and the occasion.
“Focus on a quarter at a time and not panic given they will probably be pretty nervous before the match.”
The squad will be without Jess Williamson and Cecilia Stewart who are both unavailable for the opening match.
Cronin said while the pair will leave some holes, it is an even team and thinks they can still do well.
“It has taken a little while to get them all together but they are enjoying themselves at training while gelling together on the court which is good,” he said.
“The intensity and spotlight is on them first night and hopefully they just take it in their stride.”
Cronin said he is just keeping the game plan simple and is confident of a strong performance from the team.
“With the girls it is probably just doing the basics right and maintaining possession while not getting overwhelmed by the occasion or the opposing team,” he said.
“I do not think it will be really high-scoring, the key will be just about making the right selection and maintaining the possession and keeping calm.”
A decent crowd is expected for the clash despite the men’s team not playing in the opening round.
Cronin said it was important the community got behind the team’s return to the Country Basketball League.
“I hope plenty get along and support the team,” he said.
“A lot of work has gone into the two teams and a lot of renovations going on at the courts which everyone will benefit from.
“So I hope to see plenty there at the game.”
Tip-off for the women’s round one match is set for 7pm at the Ararat Fitness Centre.