Fire Focuses on WNBL Again after Covid Concerns & Isolation

January 20, 2022 | Townsville Fire news

Townsville Fire’s players have been blowing out the cobwebs at training, since completing their isolation, as they prepare for a return to WNBL action on Friday night. The Fire has taken a cautious approach to getting back up to speed despite not having played a game yet this year. Coach Shannon Seebohm’s main concern is making sure he has a fit and healthy squad moving forward, given Covid spread among the team.

“Some still have some lingering effects, so we’ve had some people train for 45 minutes, other girls doing an hour.  We basically haven’t practiced for more than 75 minutes in any one session, where normally it would be around 120 minutes.”

Athletic centre Zitina Aokuso felt fatigued when she hit the court again, after getting the all clear from the club’s medical staff.

“The first couple of days back on the court were a bit rough but as the days progressed I got a bit better, so today I’m feeling pretty good.”

The latest Opals announcement added an extra pep to her step. She’ll attend Australia’s final training camp, at the end of the month, ahead of the Aussies travelling to Serbia for World Cup qualifiers in February.

“I was super nervous leading up to the announcement, but I definitely thought I’d put in the work and thought I’d get a chance to go to camp. So yeah, super excited and hopefully be picked for Serbia.”

Aokuso’s club coach Seebohm believes she’ll secure a spot in the side.

“Particularly the fact that they need to get a bit younger and start to add some new players to the group, that I think are going to carry the Opals through for the next 10 years, and Z is one of them.”

Fire co-captain Lauren Nicholson was also named in the squad of 16 that will be reduced to 12.

The Fire will fly to Melbourne today for what will be a demanding double header with two games in the space of 24 hours. Our women will also play twice in round nine of the WNBL, though they’ll have home advantage. Townsville’s clash with Adelaide on January 28 is a catch-up fixture, following its postponement due to Covid protocols. The Fire will also host the Boomers on the 30th. Tickets for both games are available.