Season Review: Special culture to lay foundations for future

March 12, 2020 | Melbourne Boomers news

“Special culture” to lay foundations for Boomers’ WNBL tilt next season

The Deakin Melbourne Boomers’ WNBL season came to an abrupt conclusion as the deciding round of the semi-final series saw them fall short to the UC Capitals, who went on to claim the title. It was a disappointing end, but as the dust settles the Boomers’ leadership team has hailed the “special culture” it expects to lay the foundations for the tilt at the elusive title next season.

“We were devastated”, admits co-captain Maddie Garrick of her team’s semi-final defeat.

“I think this one hurt more because of the group that we had. We had the team to win it, we just didn’t perform in the last game, and at the end of the day that’s sport.

“Your main goal is to win a Championship and anything short of that is obviously going to be disappointing, but to just have the season with the people we did, the people we had, was so much more special.

Unique team chemistry

“Cayla (George) and I as co-captains wanted to create a culture that’s just so much fun and so enjoyable that people feel so comfortable, on court and off court.

George, who knocked over her 250 game milestone this season, was equally positive in her assessment.

“Culturally our team has been one of the best teams I’ve been a part of,” said George.

The co-captains cited the uplifting, supportive dynamic amongst them as a key contributor to successfully building that bond.

“We were happy for each other’s successes, which lifted everyone up as a team,” George added.

“There are no real big egos to have to manage, we just had a group to be able to pick people up when they needed it.

“We are always celebrating everyone’s successes… just screaming, high fiving, chest bumping. I don’t think I’ve chest bumped so many people in my entire life.

“There wasn’t really any selfish behaviour and you can put that all towards great culture. I think that’s essentially, when people are in a good spot and when people are good and happy mentally, they come out and play their best basketball”, said George.

Rallying through a difficult patch

And a supportive team was needed in a season that at one stage threatened to be marred by injuries, but head coach Guy Molloy was pleased with how the squad filled the void when key players were struck down.

“We were really impacted,” said Coach Guy Molloy, who also celebrated a 250 game milestone.

“Lindsay couldn’t participate, she was at about 50% health at game three, and was out for a lot of crucial games during the final season.”

“The way Stella Beck stepped up when Lindsay was out was incredible, she came in and did a great job,” said Molloy.

The amiable dynamic existed off the court too, with the traditional barriers between players and coaches you’d expect with a professional team removed when it came to fun and games.

“Guy copped a lot of sneaky snapchat filters from me, which I’m not sure he was that happy about,” laughed Garrick.

“But he got me back with some pretty awful photos of me sleeping on the plane”.

What to expect next season

What then of the Championship title, that will remain in the nation’s capital once again?

“We’re looking forward to seeing the Caps again”, said George.

“It will be fierce.”

Molloy is yet to win a title, despite his teams boasting a consistent win records, but there are no signs of fatigue in his quest for silverware: “We haven’t achieved a big prize yet in winning a Championship but we have to keep believing that our standards are sending us to the right place.”

Deakin University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin congratulated all players, coaches and support staff for their performances throughout the season.

“Our sponsorship of the Deakin Melbourne Boomers supports talented and hard-working women across sport and education and gives the whole Deakin family a sensational WNBL team that we can follow with pride,” Professor Martin said.

“We are especially thrilled that Ezi Magbegor and Chelsea D’Angelo are Deakin students and that co-captain Maddie Garrick is a Deakin alumni.

“Our partnership with the Club delivers many benefits for the Deakin community, including the opportunity for our students to undertake internships with the WNBL club.”