October 5, 2023 | Perth Lynx news

Miela Goodchild has spent precious little time back home in Brisbane since departing for college and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon with how much she’s loving life so far in Perth and how she feels her game fits that of the Lynx like a glove.

Goodchild has signed with the Perth Lynx for the 2023/24 WNBL season as she continues quite the ride as a travelling basketball player since she finished school in Brisbane at Moreton Bay College.

On the back of already being a development player on the Townsville Fire’s WNBL championship team of 2018 and then starring in the Flames’ QBL (now NBL1 North season), she made the move to Duke University.

She would spend four years with the Blue Devils and since graduating, has split her NBL1 seasons firstly at the Mackay Meteorettes in the North and then in 2023 at the Mount Gambier Pioneers in the South, while also spending the last WNBL season at the Melbourne Boomers.

On the back of her standout NBL1 South season at the Pioneers, she now joins the Lynx for the upcoming WNBL season and the 23-year-old who loves to shoot and push the pace couldn’t be happier with where she’s landed.

Ideal playing style

Goodchild and the Lynx are now almost a month into their pre-season training, and already she can’t feel more at home fitting into the style run by coach Ryan Petrik.

She always knew that it looked like a system she could thrive in that would suit her strengths, but now to see it in action on the practice floor and it’s already surpassed all her expectations.

“Even from the first four weeks of the practice we’ve done and learning the plays, it’s quite awesome the way we’re going to play and it’s probably one of the rare times in my whole career where I feel like I fit the system like a glove,” Goodchild said.

“That’s been pretty cool and it’s very much my style of play so I’m excited to see how that plays out and how it can emphasise the strengths of my game, and how I can fit into it. I can’t wait to see how the season unfolds now.”

All-round game continuing to grow

Even going back to when she was a 15-year-old and playing in the QBL and then as a 17-year-old in the WNBL and Goodchild was always a hugely talented player, but she’s never rested on her laurels.

In those teenage years, then in four seasons at Duke and now ever since, she continued to find ways to continue getting better and it’s paying off.

You just need to look at the season she just had in the NBL1 South with Mount Gambier where she delivered 24.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.7 steals a game to be named to the All-Star Five team.

It’s the growth of her all-round game that she’s most proud of but she also knows there’s plenty more improvement she can still make and she’s putting in the work to make that happen.

“It’s been years of progress I guess and you’d like to think your hard work will always pay off in the end whether it’s quick within a couple of weeks or months, or if you might have to wait years to get to where you want to,” Goodchild said.

“But hopefully all those years of work are now adding up for me to get to this point and I’ve been working as hard as I can since I was super young.

“It’s exciting that it does feel like it’s starting to come together now and I’m becoming the all-round player which is the ideal player I’ve always wanted to be.

“It’s really exciting but I do want to keep getting better all the time because I am sure I can keep improving, and developing both my game and physically. It’s really exciting where I’m at now and I hope things just keep going upwards for me.”

Why join the Lynx

After her last season with the Melbourne Boomers and then playing in the NBL1 South at Mount Gambier, Goodchild wasn’t too sure what the next step in her career was going to be.

However, once she took that first call from Petrik about the potential of joining the Lynx and how she would fit into the system, she didn’t take long to get excited about the prospect.

Then the added positive of getting to spend more time in Perth than she ever has before and it was a no-brainer of a decision in the end.

“Obviously I spoke a lot to Ryan and he gave me a rundown of how the program works, and how he likes his teams to play and the club has a pretty good reputation of being professional with everything they do,” Goodchild said.

“So that was a good selling point but more than anything it was the style of play that was exciting to me. It’s obviously a very fast paced style with the team shooting a lot of threes, so I obviously love the sound of that and feel like it fits my style of play.

“So that was eye catching and also I wanted to improve different areas physically and I’ve started working with a shooting coach to help me improve me on the court.

“I’ve also never really been to Perth properly except to come in to play and everyone I spoke to absolutely loves it, and now I’m seeing for myself why so I’m glad I listened to them.”

Settling into Perth

Goodchild has now been in Perth for more than a month and couldn’t be enjoying it more. She’s living with fellow new recruit Emily Potter and they’ve spent plenty of time getting to the beach, going to farmers markets, heading to cafes and even explored Fremantle.

Previously she had never spent time in Perth except coming for a flying visit last WNBL season with the Boomers so she is loving the chance to get settled in a new city.

“I’m settling in great and am really enjoying it. It’s been pretty cool to get to know the girls and the coaches, and all the staff,” she said.

“We’re all kind of a new team coming together for this season, and we’re all around the same age so that’s definitely helped us build some chemistry off the court already. That in turn translates to on the court so I’m really enjoying everything about being here so far.”

Life as a travelling basketball player

It’s been quite the ride that Goodchild has already been on as a basketballer including that year in Townsville before going to college, then attending Duke for four years in North Carolina.

Since coming back, she’s spent time in Mackay, Melbourne and Mount Gambier as well, so being away from home is something she’s used to, and she couldn’t be happier to call Perth her new home.

“It wasn’t really until the NBL1 season ended and I had time to think that this basketball journey never really ends and that I’m never actually home,” Goodchild said.

“But it does suit my travelling lifestyle and I do enjoy living in these different parts of the world and the country. It’s a cool side of getting to be a professional basketball and along the way I’ve met so many cool people and athletes, and that would have never happened if it wasn’t for basketball.

“Now I get another new experience where this is the first time I’ve actually got to spend proper time in Perth and can call this home for a while, and get to see the other side of Australia. It’s pretty cool to be able to travel around and play basketball, and see the world and meet more people at the same time.”

Most looking forward to this season

Now that the WNBL season is just under a month away and the Lynx have some pre-season games upcoming in Brisbane as part of the River City Rebound between October 12-15, Goodchild can’t wait to see how this Perth team comes together playing against real opposition.

“I’m just really excited to see how this team comes together and can perform on the court. It’s just a young and youthful group that we’ve got which is really excited, and I can’t wait to see how the season pans out for us,” Goodchild said.

“Obviously we’ll get Aari joining us this week so I’m excited to fit her in and just to find out how it all pans out for us. We’ve been working really hard in this off-season so I’m just excited to start to see it all coming together in the games to be honest.”