UC Capitals announce three development players and Jenny Lonergan as Assistant Coach

September 25, 2019 | UC Capitals news

The University of Canberra Capitals welcome three development players to the squad as well as the 2019 Waratah League Women’s Coach of The Year, Jenny Lonergan.

This is Lonergan’s first coaching role in the WNBL but recently led the Canberra Nationals to the grand final of the Waratah League where she received the Coach of The Year award.

“Coach of the Year awards are really as much about the players and staff of a team, rather than one individual. I’m obviously proud of the award and being acknowledged by my coaching peers in the league, but it says more about the excellent team we had put together during the 2019 season.

“It’s a huge honour to be joining the UC Capitals and an amazing opportunity. The club has been at the forefront of the league for three decades and I’m looking forward to being part of the program.

“My role will be to support Paul and Carly where they need and in particular, assist with the development of the young players. Having coached at the junior level for so long, I think player development will be a key area for me to focus on, while assisting with scouting and game coaching,” said Lonergan.

The UC Capitals are also pleased to welcome three development players, Shakera Reilly, Pyper Thornberry and Maddy Wheatley.

Lonergan coached both Thornberry and Wheatley in the Canberra Nationals alongside UC Capitals’ Keely Froling and Abby Cubillo.

The development players were selected at the UC Capitals Open Trial. Lonergan went along to support her Canberra Nationals players, but also found herself in a discussion with Head Coach Paul Goriss about a coaching role.

“I have watched all three development players over the past few years as they have competed in numerous Australian junior Championships representing their home states and territories.

“I was fortunate to coach both Maddy Wheatley and Pyper Thornberry with the Canberra Nationals this year and also in the ACT under 18 Women’s state team for the past two years.

“Basketball ACT has invested heavily in their development in recent years and it is exciting for Maddy and Pyper to get a taste at the WNBL level. It is also fantastic for Shakera Reilly to join our team as development players after strong performances in the Waratah league and as part of the Australian under 19’s Gems team respectively,” said Lonergan.

Thornberry is a local Canberra junior who helped the Canberra Nationals to a grand final berth in the Waratah League this season. Pyper provided a spark off the bench and has improved greatly over the last 12 months.

Wheatley is another local junior a part of the Canberra Nationals whose continued improvement will be fast tracked quickly training alongside Froling, Nurse and Delaney.

Reilly has represented NSW at National Junior Championships as well as playing NSW Waratah League for Maitland. She had a good season in the Waratah League with some outstanding performances and will bring a competitive edge to practice every day.