Purcell withdraws from Flames’ WNBL23 squad

November 11, 2022 | Sydney Flames news

Star Sydney Flames forward Kalani Purcell is withdrawing from the WNBL23 season due to personal reasons. 

Purcell will not suit up for the Flames’ opening game this weekend against the Bendigo Spirit. 

The club has asked for Purcell’s privacy to be respected at this time. 

“Kalani has been a wonderful contributor to this club and our organisation, and she will be sorely missed,” Flames CEO Chris Pongrass said. 


“She was certainly an integral part of our plans for this season and was our defensive player of the year last season.

“Players like Kalani, with her WNBL and international record, are not easily replaced. 

“We wish Kalani all the best for the future and we do hope to see her back in a Flames jersey one day.”  

The Flames can announce Queensland’s Steph Bairstow will replace Purcell in the Flames’ roster for the WNBL23 season. 

Bairstow, who has previously spent time with the South East Queensland Stars and Canberra Capitals, will add frontcourt depth to the Hoops Capital side – joining the likes of Keely Froling, Hannah Sjerven, Kiera Rowe and Emma Clarke. 

The 28-year-old Sunnybank product is a Utah State alumnus, who is the sister of NBL players Cam and Jarred Bairstow. 

The Flames had a bye for the opening round of the season and have a run of away games before their first home game, a doubleheader at Qudos Bank Arena with the Sydney Kings on December 4.