Flames will roll with COVID curveball, Heal says

December 10, 2021 | Sydney Flames news

A COVID-19 curveball is being seen as an opportunity for improvement for Flames coach Shane Heal. 

The re-match between the Brydens Sydney Uni Flames and UC Capitals in Canberra on Saturday was cancelled after a UC Capitals team member tested positive and attended a team training session on Tuesday. 

The WNBL has announced the game will be rescheduled to a later date.  

It comes after the Flames went down by three points to the Capitals in a cliff-hanger opening game at Qudos Bank Arena last weekend. 

The Flames players have been tested purely as a precaution but are back in training, preparing for an away clash against the Townsville Fire next week.  

“We spoke about this at the start of the year as a team and we knew we’d have to be flexible because change is going to happen,” coach Shane Heal told Flames media on Friday. 

“We need to be positive and embrace it. We adjusted our whole schedule and we will continue to train all the way through … we have a lot to address and improve on. 

“Townsville is going to be one of the best teams in the competition.  We need to be ready.” 

The Flames led for much of the opening game, but the young and exciting outfit were mown down by the Capitals in the dying stages. 

For Heal there will be some extra incentive in the clash with Townsville given his close connection with Fire coach Shannon Seebohm. 

Seebohm also coached Heal’s daughter and star Flames point guard Shyla to the WNBL grand final with the Fire last year. 

“Shannon has been a really good friend of mine. He was my player, an assistant coach and I think he’s the best coach in the competition,” Heal said. 

“It’s going to be a tough game. They will be prepared and of course Shyla had a lot of success with them, but we are ready for the challenge and know what we are in for.” 

 The Flames’ game in Townsville will start at 6.30 pm next Saturday. 

It is hoped the Flames players will now be interested onlookers for the #Freewayseries clash between the Sydney Kings and Illawarra Hawks at Qudos Bank Arena on Saturday night.