Wollongong Hawks likely to juggle bench

Wollongong coach Eric Cooks has let the revamped Hawks know starting positions will be up for grabs throughout their 2008-09 NBL campaign.The Hawks resumed pre-season training yesterday at the Snakepit, unveiling former Illawarra junior representative James Quinn as their official development player for next season.Glen Saville and Kavossy Franklin were the only absentees. Boomers forward Saville will return after the Olympics, while Franklin is due back in Wollongong from the United States on Monday.New import Dusty Rychart trained yesterday, as did former Brisbane guard Rhys Martin and fellow newcomer Anthony Petrie.Cooks is confident he has a stronger side to work with than last season and hasn't ruled out constantly juggling his starting line-up."It's definitely open. There's probably eight or 10 of these guys that could start on a given day," he said."I don't know if there will be a fixed starting five. It could very well depend on form and the opposition."You've got Kavossy and Sav to add to this group, so I'm very happy. I really like the way Dusty goes. He's exactly what I expected. He works hard, he's a team guy, he doesn't mind making the extra pass. Trigger (Cam Tragardh) has come back in shape and ready to go, Larry's (Davidson) been working hard, I'm happy with Petrie, so overall it's looking pretty good."Cooks believes NBL schedule makers have not been unkind to his side for next season."We've got some hard parts, but everyone does," he said."We've got some good parts in there, we've got a lot of Friday home games. "We're home a bit early in the season and we've got eight or nine of the last 10 at home, so if we get away to a good start, we've got a good chance of making the play-offs, and that's obviously our goal."Quinn, a former state player, attends Illawarra Sports High and has returned to basketball after an 18-month break."Quinny's had nearly two years off and gone through a bit of hardship, but he's come back and he's definitely working hard," Cooks said."He's a talented player, he's got good court vision and reads the game well. He's hungry and he seems like he wants to make the sacrifice needed to be in this league."The other day he had eight suicides (sprints) that all had to be under 30 (seconds) and he got every one. "Even when he was playing under 16s and under 18s, I don't think he was capable of doing that, so he's showing he's heading in the right direction."The Hawks start off against the Breakers in New Zealand on September 18 and are at home to Sydney Spirit on September 20.

Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide