By Ryan Edwards
The Southside Flyers will finally be back in action on Thursday night as they take on the Bendigo Spirt to kick-start the WNBL battle in the bubble. 2020 has been an unprecedented year, and the upcoming season will be no different. The Flyers will fight for the right to be named the champs in a grueling 14 games in 32 days marathon to be played out in Northern Queensland.
Rest will be a rare commodity this season, making depth more important than ever, even for a Flyers’ team that boasted the league’s strongest starting lineup last year. While Southside was dominant throughout the season, reaching the Grand Final, they relied heavily on the starting line-up of Mitchell, Cole, O’Hea, Blicavs, and the now departed Russell. When they went to a bench heavy lineup they often struggled to score, lacking the 3-point shooting to draw defenders away from the basket in order to create open driving lanes to the hoop.
With young guns Anneli Maley, Kiera Rowe, and Louella Tomlinson reaching deals with new clubs this season, the second unit was in for a major overhaul. The Flyers have major championship aspirations this season, and the re-worked second unit reflects that, while Aimie Clydesdale and Bec Pizzey are back, the team has added 3 former champions to the team.
Stephanie Blicavs is reuniting with her sister-in-law Sara for the Flyers this season, bringing her Commonwealth Games gold medal and 2-time WNBL champion experience with her. Stephanie is a ‘lights-out’ shooter who can do it all from the wing position. She is always a scoring threat from anywhere on the floor. Her work at the other end of the floor is well known, being the WNBL Defensive Player of the year in 2016.
Keeping up with the championship trend, the Flyers have brought in former WNBL and WNBA champion Rachel Jarry. Rachel has gone toe to toe with the best from around the world, winning medals in both the Olympics and the FIBA World Championship. She reads the game at an elite level, giving her the ability to pick apart defenses. Like Stephanie Blicavs, Jarry is deadly from beyond the arc, helping to create much needed spacing in the second unit.
Monique Conti joins Southside achieving something no one else on the team has, winning a AFLW premiership for the Western Bulldogs. The former WNBL Rookie of the Year has proven to be at her best in the biggest moments, as shown by her best on ground performance in the AFLW Grand Final and two Best & Fairest trophies, including in 2020 with the Richmond Tigers. On the court, Conti is a lightning quick driver who will look to take advantage of the newfound spacing around her next to Stephanie Blicavs and Jarry. Monique is an unselfish player at the point guard position who is always looking to find an open shot for her teammates.
These additions would surely make Southside a contender this season, but their last addition makes them an absolute juggernaut. That addition is of course Liz Cambage, arguably the best player in the entire world. The former WNBA First-Team member holds the single game scoring record in the WNBA with a massive 53-point performance. Cambage is an unstoppable force going to the basket that will demand double teams every time she touches the ball. There is no keeping Cambage off the glass, as she uses her incredible strength to position herself for almost every rebound. Expect Liz to leave viewers and even opponents in awe every game with her offensive brilliance.
Make sure to tune in and see Liz, Monique, Rachel & Steph debut this Thursday night at 9:00 PM (AEDT)!
Flyers 2020 WNBL Season Fixture
|ROUND||DATE||TIME (AEDT)||LOCAL TIME||OPPONENT||VENUE||H/A||BROADCAST|
|ROUND 1||Thu Nov 12||9:00pm||8:00pm||Bendigo||Townsville||Away||Kayo Sports|
|Sat Nov 14||5:00pm||4:00pm||Melbourne||Townsville||Away||ABC/Foxtel|
|Sun Nov 15||3:00pm||2:00pm||Sydney||Townsville||Home||ABC/Foxtel|
|ROUND 2||Tue Nov 18||6:00pm||5:00pm||Adelaide||Townsville||Home||Kayo Sports|
|Thu Nov 19||7:00pm||6:00pm||Townsville||Townsville||Home||Foxtel|
|Sat Nov 21||7:30pm||6:30pm||Perth||Cairns||Home||Kayo Sports|
|ROUND 3||Mon Nov 23||6:00pm||5:00pm||Canberra||Cairns||Home||Kayo Sports|
|Wed Nov 25||8:00pm||7:00pm||Perth||Cairns||Away||Kayo Sports|
|Sat Nov 28||5:00pm||4:00pm||Townsville||Cairns||Away||ABC/Foxtel|
|Sun Nov 29||1:00pm||12:00pm||Adelaide||Cairns||Away||Foxtel|
|ROUND 4||Thu Dec 3||9:00pm||8:00pm||Bendigo||Cairns||Home||Kayo Sports|
|Sun Dec 6||3:00pm||2:00pm||Melbourne||Cairns||Home||ABC/Foxtel|
|ROUND 5||Thu Dec 10||9:00pm||8:00pm||Sydney||Townsville||Away||Kayo Sports|
|Sun Dec 13||3:00pm||2:00pm||Canberra||Townsville||Away||ABC/Foxtel|