JCU Townsville Fire captain Suzy Batkovic will headline next week’s Opals camp in Gosford as chases an elusive Olympic gold medal.
The triple Olympian, who last month claimed a fourth Wattle Valley WNBL MVP, was one of 16 players named for the camp alongside championship-winning teammate Cayla George.
This second camp will also serve as an opportunity for head coach Brendan Joyce to select a team that will fly to Japan for a warm-up series from May 3 to 11.
Looking back on the Canberra camp, Joyce was pleased with the development of the Opals as they came together as a squad for the first time.
“Overall, the feedback we got was that it was a great camp,” Joyce said.
“All the things we wanted to work on, we were able to manage. We developed our team chemistry, team culture and our game style.
“Myself and the team also did a lot of interviews and promotion so the camp provided a great opportunity to endorse the Opals, as will the next one in Gosford.”
The Gosford camp beginning next Monday will see the Opals continue to focus on their team building and leadership.
“Among other things, it is the last camp for Penny Taylor and Erin Phillips before they most likely head back to the USA.
“It’s really important that we continue to focus on our leadership development because those two players have been identified as leaders.
“We will also begin to have more of a focus on our opponents in August before we make the decision on the team that heads to Japan.”
Australian Opals squad: Rebecca Allen (SEQ Stars), Suzy Batkovic (JCU Townsville Fire), Natalie Burton (Perth Lynx), Elizabeth Cambage (Shanghai), Stephanie Cumming (Dandenong Rangers), Katie-Rae Ebzery (Sydney Uni Flames), Cayla George (JCU Townsville Fire), Kelsey Griffin (Bendigo Spirit), Rachel Jarry (SEQ Stars), Alice Kunek (Melbourne Boomers), Tessa Lavey (Perth Lynx), Tess Madgen (Melbourne Boomers), Leilani Mitchell (Adelaide Lightning), Erin Phillips (LA Sparks), Stephanie Talbot (University of Canberra Capitals) and Penny Taylor (Phoenix Mercury).