The Bendigo Spirit has turned one eye to the future of the club, signing two development players for the 2018-19 Chemist Warehouse WNBL season.
Bendigo Braves SEABL players Caitlin McLachlan and Bianca Dufelmeier join the squad after impressing coach Simon Pritchard on and off the court in the WNBL offseason.
A guard who has proven herself as a more-than-dependable backup to Braves WNBL stars Kelly Wilson and Kara Tessari, Dufelmeier played five seasons of college basketball in the US.
“Bianca’s high energy and experience are going to be invaluable to the Spirit this season,” Pritchard said of the 26 year old.
“What I like is her versatility. She can penetrate deep and still hit a long bomb, and her high basketball IQ means we will be able to prepare the team against a really competitive training team.
“The extra skill work and standard of training will see her show great improvement this season. She will be an invaluable contributor to our team in 2019.”
McLachlan, 22, is a local junior who has risen through the Braves and Victorian Country ranks. She has impressed under the eye of Braves coach and Spirit assistant coach Megan Moody.
“What I like about Caitlin is her assertiveness at trainings,” Pritchard said.
“She is ready to step up to the Spirit program and will provide great effort and toughness in our preparations each week.
“As a US college returnee, she understands the standard of the league and where she can help the Spirit this season.
“I am hoping the Spirit becomes a springboard for her to hit the main Braves rotation next season.”
The Spirit open their season at the State Basketball Centre in Wantirna against the Melbourne Boomers on October 13, before returning to play their first game at the new stadium against Dandenong on October 20.
“The team can’t wait to get out there and show Bendigo what they can do,” Pritchard said.
“Make sure you have a front-row seat to a big season by buying a membership at wnbl.com.au/Bendigo.”