Former national coach joins Roller Hawks

The Roller Hawks with coach Ben Ettridge (back, left). Picture: DREAM DESIGNS AND PHOTOGRAPHY
The Roller Hawks with coach Ben Ettridge (back, left). Picture: DREAM DESIGNS AND PHOTOGRAPHY


The  Wollongong Roller Hawks have scored a coup for the 2014 National Wheelchair Basketball League season with the addition of national team coach Ben Ettridge.

A three-time NWBL Coach of the Year, Ettridge boasts an impressive resume.

After a stint as the Australian under 23 team coach, he was elevated to the top job with the senior team in 2007.

He guided the Rollers to a gold medal the following year at the Beijing Paralympics and was at the helm when the Rollers claimed gold at the 2010 World Championships.

Ettridge is no stranger to success on home soil, steering Perth to four straight NWBL titles from 2006-09.

"It's working out really well," the 39-year-old said of joining the Roller Hawks.

"There's just a great feel around the club. In the short time I've been there, I've really admired the work that goes on behind the scenes. The community aspect of the club is the thing that attracted me the most.

" It's just a great bunch of boys and I love being around them."

Ettridge moved to Sydney last year but didn't want to jump straight back into coaching in the NWBL.

A chance conversation with Roller Hawks team manager Pablo Jimenez sparked his interest and Ettridge agreed to take on the coaching role.

Last year's coach, Dowler, is staying on as an assistant.

"Brendan and I are basically splitting the role between the two of us," he said.

Champions in 2011 and '12, the Roller Hawks went down to arch rivals Perth in last year's grand final.

"They fell short last year and want to get over the line this year, and that fits my mindset as well."

The Roller Hawks tip off their season on May 16 with a home game against Queensland.


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