Braves focus in on youth

Joel Peterson | Bendigo Weekly | 17-Nov-2017

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New Lady Braves coach Megan Moody. Photo: Andrew Perryman.
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NEW Bendigo Lady Braves coach Megan Moody has been put in charge of a key part of the new era of basketball in Bendigo.

Moody is, remarkably, the first female coach to take the reins at the club since it began in 1990.

Related: Changes for Lady Braves

She has spent recent seasons in charge of Bendigo’s youth league women, nurturing talent such as Jessie Rennie and Ahlise Hurst, who are both now on the Bendigo Spirit’s WNBL roster.

Moody is also involved with the city’s WNBL club as an assistant coach, and will work closely with Spirit coach Simon Pritchard both in that role and with the Lady Braves.

The closer links between the Lady Braves and Spirit, with both falling under the administrative umbrella of Bendigo Stadium Limited, will be a major change. 

And there will be others to come.

Moody’s wealth of playing experience – from the WNBA to major clubs such as Turkish powerhouse Fenerbache and internationally with Great Britain’s national team – only serves to bolster an already impressive resume of developing young talent.

“I can’t wipe the smile off my face at the moment, I’m so excited for the opportunity and thank the Bendigo Basketball Association and BSL to put the faith in me to take over from a program that’s had a lot of success,” she said.

“Hopefully I can do it justice and I’m really looking forward to the opportunity.”

Moody’s strengths align with an increased focus from club level on player development as opposed to the free-spending, title-chasing teams of seasons past.

The club will sell itself to potential recruits on the basis that it can offer a long-term destination, a national level opportunity and success under the one roof.

“Any program you’re with you want to win the championship, that’s always the goal,” she said.

“We’re looking to really create that pathway and give them opportunities and offer players that it’s not just you’re in and out for one season.

“You have an opportunity to impress the WNBL coaches as well, and potentially be here longer term.”

Pritchard said Moody had impressed him in coming on board with the Spirit this season, and that despite her already strong track record of junior development she would continue to develop through the Lady Braves role.

Bendigo Stadium Limited general manager of sport Ben Joske said Moody’s proven ability to work with young talent such as Jessie Rennie, Ahlise Hurst and Madi Sexton factored into the decision.

He added she has the potential to be a future WNBL-level coach.

Moody is already talking to players in order to build the nucleus of her first SEABL roster, and exactly what that looks like is an intriguing proposition.

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