JCU Townsville Fire captain Suzy Batkovic has endorsed the appointment of Claudia Brassard as head coach for the up-coming WNBL season stating she is more than ready to call the shots in her own right.
Having served as Chris Lucas’ chief lieutenant for the past three seasons, the former club captain and MVP was anointed his successor when the dual championship winning coach opted to return to Adelaide.
Boasting a perfect 3-0 record when substituting for Lucas in the top job, Batkovic, who returned to Townsville this week ahead of pre-season training, said she had not doubt that Brassard would make every post a winner.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Claudia,” Batkovic said.
“In my mind, there’s no doubt that she is ready, more than ready to be a head coach in her own right.
“It always takes some time to transition from an assistant, but she has all the qualities and she’s done an amazing job in the past when she’s filled in for Chris including last season.”
During five seasons playing for the Fire, Brassard became a fan favourite, registering more than 100 games and endearing herself to the North Queensland public for her uncompromising work ethic.
Since retiring from playing, the Canadian Olympian has spent the past five years as the club’s Basketball Director including the past three as an assistant.
With the Fire looking to become the first Queensland team to secure a three-peat, Batkovic said she expected changes to the team’s offensive and defensive structures.
“Every coach is going to want to put their own stamp on the team,” the four-time WNBL MVP said.
“And that’s exciting for us with the direction that Claudia will want to take us.
“We’ve got some great players returning and some quality new players, so we’ll spend the next few weeks coming together and getting ready ahead of round one.”
The Fire are poised to tackle the Sydney Uni Flames on Saturday, September 17 in Mackay and have one last roster position to fill.
The WNBL season commences at Townsville Stadium on Sunday, October 9 with a Grand Final re-match between the Fire and Perth Lynx.
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