Spirit coach Simon Pritchard. Photo: Andrew Perryman.

BENDIGO Spirit coach Simon Pritchard has secured the services of one of Australia’s best point guards as he looks to move the club up the WNBL table.

In what amounts to a flip of star players with Canberra, Pritchard has lured seven-time WNBL champion Nat Hurst to Bendigo and away from her the Caps.

It follows Kelsey Griffin’s move from Bendigo to join the Capitals earlier in the offseason.

Hurst played in all seven of the Capitals’ titles, the only player to do so.

With Pritchard searching for a point guard and not wanting to go down the import path after previous signings had not worked out, he turned to Hurst, with whom he worked while an assistant at Canberra.

“Nat is more than just a player, she is an experienced coach on the floor,” he said.

“She brings multiple years of leadership and international experience, having played right across Europe.

“As a seven-time WNBL winner, she has done it the hard way and will be integral in Kara Tessari’s continued development, and a key to extracting all the talent from the playing group.”

Hurst is also an Australian representative, having won gold at the 2009 FIBA Oceania Women’s
Championship.

She made a return to national duties late last year when she was named in an Opals training squad ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

While she did not make the final roster, that selection – following on from her WNBL campaign with Canberra – show Hurst has plenty left in the tank.

She will also be instrumental in setting the on-court direction for the young Spirit team.

“I believe the club has some great youth coming through and I’m looking to sharing my experience to them,” she said.

“I am grateful to have been a part of the Canberra Capitals for so long. I have had a lot of success there, but this move to Bendigo has given me and my family a whole new lease on life.

“This move is like a breath of fresh air and I can’t wait to get to Bendigo and start this new journey.”

The Spirit are also working to finalise an import signing to bolster their frontcourt.