Aussie Rollers name squad for Canberra camp as they begin road trip to Rio

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The Australian Rollers will converge on Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence (CoE) from May 29-June 2 for a selection camp aimed at picking a team to tour England and compete in the Continental Cup in early July.

From that tournament in Leicester, UK, the Rollers’ team for the 2016 Paralympics in September will then be selected.

The 18-player squad that will head to the CoE have been chosen based on performances at last year’s Asia Oceania IWBF tournament and the 2014 IWBF World Championship campaign where the Rollers won back-to-back gold medals as well as their individual and team performances through the 2015 and 2016 NWBL seasons.

“This is an excellent opportunity for our top 18 athletes to come together and push each other,” said Rollers head coach Ben Ettridge.

“Another milestone for us was the release of the pools for Rio. We now know our initial five opponents (Canada, Turkey, Netherlands, Japan and Spain). This alone has taken our preparation to another level both individually and as a team.

“Every guy here is vying for selection, competition is high. No one has yet punched a ticket to Rio.”

16 members of the squad are currently competing in the NWBL, with five clubs represented while the remaining two players have just finished seasons overseas.

Kilsyth Cobras and Wollongong Roller Hawks will send five players each into the camp, the Red Dust Heelers will have three representatives, the RSL Queensland Spinning Bullets will have four while Shaun Norris will represent the Perth Wheelcats.

“Our boys have all been playing exceptionally well in the NWBL, Bill Latham joins us fresh off winning the European Championships and Sam White has added another NCAA crown.

“This is a testament to the hard work the guys are doing in their home institutes.”

Carrying that form into the May-June camp will be imperative for the Rollers as they seek a fourth straight Paralympic medal and hopefully, a third gold medal after success in 1996 and 2008.

“This camp is about continuing to develop the mental, physical, technical, tactical and cultural toughness needed to take on the world’s best in Rio.”


The Australian Rollers for the Centre of Excellence camp:

Josh Allison                      Kilsyth Cobras | VIS

Michael Auprince            Wollongong Rollerhawks | NSWIS

Jannik Blair                       Red Dust Heelers | VIS

Michael D’Amelio            Kilsyth Cobras | VIS

Adam Deans                      Red Dust Heelers | WAIS

Damon Fent                       Kilsyth Cobras | VIS

Tristan Knowles                Kilsyth Cobras | VIS

Bill Latham                         Queensland Spinning Bullets | QAS

Tim Markcrow                   Wollongong Rollerhawks | ACTAS

Matt McShane                  Queensland Spinning Bullets | QAS

Brad Ness                            Red Dust Heelers | WAIS

Shaun Norris                      Perth Wheelcats | WAIS

Tom O’Neill-Thorne        Queensland Spinning Bullets | QAS

Luke Pople                          Wollongong Rollerhawks | NSWIS

Shawn Russell                   Kilsyth Cobras | VIS

Tige Simmons                    Queensland Spinning Bullets | QAS

Brett Stibners                    Wollongong Rollerhawks | NSWIS

Sam White                          Wollongong Rollerhawks | SASI


Australian Rollers Staff

Head Coach                                        Ben Ettridge

Assistant Coaches                            Luke Brennan

Program Coaches                             Jeremy Synot & Craig Campbell

Physiotherapist                                Jesse Adams

Physiologist                                       Jo Miller

Strength & Conditioning               Adam Wolski

Performance Psychology              Shayne Hanks

Personal Excellence                        Gina Rees

National Program Manager         Leigh Gooding


Media contact:

Lisa Hasker
GM – Community and Stakeholder Relations
Basketball Australia
Mobile: 0418 194 933