Spirit Coach Upbeat

Akuna Photography

LAST weekend wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Bendigo Spirit, but that doesn’t worry coach Simon Pritchard.The Spirit head west for a WNBL double header this weekend as the side tackles Perth and Adelaide.

The team endured a trying weekend in round three, belted by Dandenong last Friday before grinding out a win against the winless Canberra on Saturday night at home. The weekend was not without its issues for the club, who will travel west without the injured Heather Oliver, but Pritchard believes having some teething problems early in the year as the side did as it trailed Canberra into the last quarter is beneficial.

“It’s a good thing for us to not have things going our way because it tests the group and makes the group find a way to get the job done,” he said. If you just play your games out in front all the time, when you play tight games at the end of the season and face some adversity you don’t know what to do with it.

“So it’s best to have that now, and I don’t have any issue with it at all. We came away with a win against Canberra, and maybe if we lost I would have more of an issue with it.” Bendigo tackles Perth Lynx on Friday night in Perth before travelling to Adelaide to play the Lightning on Sunday.

Perth demolished top side Dandenong last Sunday after Bendigo went down to the Rangers by 32 points earlier in the weekend, but Bendigo has already beaten the Lynx this season and will be looking to make it double on Friday.

Stopping the likes of Lynx guards Tessa Lavey and Sami Whitcomb and forwards Nat Burton and Louella Tomlinson will be high on the priority list for Bendigo. “Heather Oliver player a really important role with us last time because she guarded Sami Whitcomb, so with her not travelling we will have to find a matchup there,” Pritchard said.

“It’s really going to be a tough ask, and we need the likes of Sarah McAppion and Joy Burke to step up off the bench and give us a real boost. “One of our targets is always to get their bigs into foul trouble so we will try to go at them early, make a good start and hopefully carry a win into Adelaide on Sunday.”

Article: Joel Peterson, Bendigo Weekly
Photo: Steve Blake, Akuna Photograhpy

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