The work begins, Preseason 2022/23 underway

September 28, 2022 | Townsville Fire news


The first match has been struck for the JCU Fire’s championship quest, with pre-season officially underway. A few faces were missing from the opening training session. Lauren Nicholson’s return to Townsville has been delayed due to an ear issue, preventing her from flying. She should hit the court next week, with new signing Karlie Samuelson. Fellow import Tianna Hawkins will arrive in October. JCU Fire coach Shannon Seebohm got straight down to business with the majority of the squad.

“It’s a great chance to start to implement our style of play again, obviously there’ll be some tweaks there’s always that from year to year and with some new players coming in with different skill sets, we’ll try to utilize them as best we can.”


He envisions Mikaela Ruef racking up the assists, along with her trademark rebounding numbers.

“She’s a really tough player, really smart, and an underrated passer as well. So we’re going to be able to utilize that I think to generate some easy baskets and hopefully create some simple looks for people like Lauren Nicholson, that defences keyed into last season, so we can use Loz as a cutter a bit more because Mikaela can pass so well.”

Seebohm’s stoked to work with the forward again.

“Yeah absolutely, I had her in my first year as a pro coach and it was her first year as a pro player. I’ve tried to sign her a couple of times already and it didn’t sort of work out but yeah really excited to have here now and I think she’s someone that’s going to add a lot to our group.”

Ruef’s ready to be a leader under him, as opposed to a rookie.

“The main thing that I want to bring is my competitiveness and just playing hard. There’s going to be ups and downs during the campaign and as long. My mentality of just and hard work and stick together attitude can help us get through any rough patches.”

The WNBL stalwart wasn’t as intrepid introducing herself as one might expect an experienced player to be.

“I’m the oldest in the team supposedly, it’s hard making new friends as you age so it’s just a bit weird coming into new teams that already have friendship groups.  But they’ve been really nice, open armed, they think I’m funny, they laugh at my jokes, so it’s been going good.”

Smiles won’t last long when the fitness exercises intensify. The Fire will sweat it out several times a week over the next two months.