Q&A with Kristen Veal
New UC Capitals Head Coach Kristen Veal sat down with local media, to chat about her appointment to the top job.
From how she’ll handle the pressure, to how she’s developed as a coach since retiring, read some of her responses, below.
Q: After experiencing what it’s like to be player and an Assistant Coach with the UC Capitals, how excited are you for this next chapter with the team?
A: I am really excited, I’ve been close to the program for a number of years in a coaching capacity, so to have the opportunity to come back as the Head Coach after Paul Goriss and Carrie Graf is so exciting, and I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity here in Canberra.
Q: What was the process behind it all?
A: Gorrie let me know of his news when it broke for him and that was so exciting. From there, there was some thinking around if I apply and is it the right fit and it is a good opportunity here, and all the answers were yes, yes, yes!
Q: How do you feel your coaching career has developed since you decided to get involved in coaching and since you’ve been at the Centre of Excellence?
A: I think when I stopped trying to still be a basketball player, it’s come along in leaps and bounds. Once I transitioned out and it took a couple of years to break away and dedicate myself more to the coaching space and become more confident, the opportunities have come rolling. And I have had some great mentors and some great people who have I have been working with and under, who have helped build my career over the past 8-10 years.
Q: Does it help already having some players on the roster, knowing them and knowing the UC Capitals program from your time here as the Assistant Coach?
A: There’s still players that I played against or within the league, and I am really fortunate to be with the UC Capitals a few years back to regain those connections. A lot of the players have come through the Centre of Excellence as well, so there’s a lot of connections to current players in Australia and even a little bit further than that.
Q: You’ve had your own success with the Caps and they’re proudly Canberra’s most successful team. How does it feel to be heading into the role with that legacy?
A: I think at the end of the day, I was part of that success so when you’re part of it and when you have some ownership of it, not just with the ups but with the downs as well, I feel more prepared than I think I would have if I wasn’t part of it over the past two decades both as a player and a coach. There’s always going to be pressure, whether you finish bottom, whether you finish top or whether you finish anywhere in the middle. It’s a professional league, it’s people’s livelihood and we’re trying to build the sport and continue the legacy that the Caps have here in Canberra. There’s always going to be pressure, but I think there’s an opportunity to build on what we have, and if we do that then we’ll see continued success.