The 16 strong Opals squad that will head to the training camp in Sydney from 31 January- 4 February in preparation for the FIBA Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament in Serbia was named today.
The squad includes debutant Anneli Maley who has had an outstanding start to her WNBL season with the Bendigo Spirit. Anneli was named the player of the week in round 4 after posting some impressive stats including 38 points, 20 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal.
On hearing of her selection for the camp Anneli was absolutely delighted and excited to be part of the squad.
“I really love the Opals culture and what they stand for, my idol growing up was Penny Taylor I really loved the way that she played and went about it. For now, I’m focused on each week playing with Bendigo Spirit, getting a spot at the camp is fantastic. Anyone who knows me will tell you I will put in 100%, probably more actually.”
“There are some exceptional players in this squad I’m really happy to be here and thank my coach Tracy York at Bendigo Spirit who has been a big part in improving my game.”
Two-time Olympian Steph Talbot is no stranger to training camps and is looking forward to the opportunity to once again suit up in the green and gold.
“There is always pressure at any camp, there are no guarantees to make the team, so you make each session count. This year there is definitely an added layer of pressure as we have a home World Cup so everyone wants to make the team.”
Coming home following her new appointment as the New York Liberty Head Coach Sandy Brondello will again take up the reigns as the Opals Head Coach at the camp in Sydney. Sandy is happy to be home and looking forward to working closely with the squad.
“I haven’t been able to come home to Australia for way too long, I have been watching the WNBL games and I’m really impressed with the performances of the girls and it’s exciting to finally get on a court with them. The qualifying games in Serbia will be fierce, the competition is always tough at the international level, so this camp is a pivotal time for us to prepare. I will be meeting some players for the first time while others I have worked with for years but that’s a great challenge to have as a coach. We have a lot to do in short period of time but I know this squad is committed to the task so I can’t wait to get on the plane and get started.”
Following the camp the final 12 athletes will be chosen for the FIBA Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament in Serbia from 10-13 February where Australia have drawn Korea, Serbia and Brazil in their group.
FIBA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL WORLD CUP SQUAD 2022
Sami Whitcomb Perth Lynx
Shyla Heal Sydney Uni Flames
Maddi Rocci Southside Flyers
Rebecca Cole Southside Flyers
Lauren Nicholson Townsville Fire
Tess Madgen Melbourne Boomers
Jade Melbourne UC Capitals
Steph Talbot Adelaide Lightning
Sara Blicavs Southside Flyers
Anneli Maley Bendigo Spirit
Alanna Smith Adelaide Lightning
Ezi Magbegor Melbourne Boomers
Darcee Garbin Perth Lynx
Abby Bishop Southside Flyers
Cayla George Melbourne Boomers
Zitina Aokuso Townsville Fire