The inaugural NBL1 season was one that saw the Eltham Wildcats learn and grow on the court, but also off it, as the club took the step to being a unique structure; a one club system from beginners to the elite. “For everyone involved, it (NBL1) was a significant change to anything we’d taken on previously but completed our stream; in line with the pathways and opportunities outlined in our strategic plan.” CEO Greg Jeffers stated.
The club took to reviewing every section of the program from the U18’s to the NBL1; from the coaching panels, to the front office; the processes and procedures of all areas. “It was a process I felt we needed; it was for the most part to understand the ‘how’ and ‘why’ we did things and to ensure we continued to evolve, and it meant there were a lot of honest conversations had between our team.”
Head Coaches Trevor Lee (Men) and Grant Spencer (Women) led the Wildcats move into NBL1 with what was viewed a successful first season. Lee completed his sixth season with the Wildcats; “We’ve put a tremendous amount of trust and faith in his ability and in doing so I believe Trevor has evolved his coaching and management of the playing group. We’d progressed at Big V over five years and for 2019 we almost just hit the reset button (relating to goals) for NBL1, with a plan to build a sustainable program over time and 2020 will be further proof of that progression.”
Grant Spencer joined the club and put together an almost completely new playing roster in just a couple of months. With Eltham finishing last in Big V in 2018, Grant took on a challenge; one that others may have shied away from and whilst missing playoffs by a small margin, was in essence; a successful season and a giant step in the right direction.
“Grant’s knowledge is exceptional and we’re really proud of what was achieved in a short period of time. To move up with a new team, yet get so many positive results is a reflection of both the coaching staff and also the playing group; but they also know they missed an opportunity. The Eltham club for over 50 years has been a place of support and development and with Grant, that is no different. Our coaches had a lot of frank discussions and I couldn’t be happier with the two-way feedback provided and the path of development that both Grant and Trevor have taken.” concluded Jeffers.
The Wildcats are working toward the 2020 season with announcements ready to be made in the weeks ahead. Stability at an association is important; something Eltham have had throughout its existence; but something that hasn’t rung true in Senior Women for some time; but does for 2020 as both coaches return to take another step forward in NBL1.