Coach Brady Walmsley and Ray Cooper have quit as Power coaches.
Coach Brady Walmsley and Ray Cooper have quit as Power coaches.

Gladstone Power coaches quit amid committee restructure

BASKETBALL: Gladstone Port City Power men's and women's head coaches Brady Walmsley and Ray Cooper have quit.

Walmsley's decision was cited in the direction that the club was taking under the new Gladstone Amateur Basketball Association committee, which was formed last week.

The Power committee is currently restructuring as part of its move to the Queensland State League.

Cooper will take the year off.

The shock announcements came after Power chairwoman Allison Murdoch quit on February 15, followed by the remainder of the club's sub-committee.

"I had given at least a week to get a better understanding of what the new direction would look like," Walmsley said.

Following the mass exodus, an emergency meeting was held last Wednesday by GABA.

Walmsley was unable to attend due to family reasons.

"From what I understand, the result of that meeting was basically that the GABA senior executives would take on the responsibility for the Power and oversee the Power directly," he said.

A series of conversations followed between Walmsley and GABA.

Walmsley believed that the Power, under the new committee, had changed its focus from being a QSL premiership contender to being more based on participation.

"When I had signed for two years (in July last year), I had signed under the premise that our resourcing would go up and my commitment had been that I would be getting my arse kicked for two years being under-resourced, that if I was to come back, I wanted to be resourced in a way that would allow us to be more competitive," he said.

"That was the commitment given to me at the time."

With the advent of the new NBL-1 North format (previously Queensland Basketball League), a decision was made for Port City Power to play at QSL level with the ambition to get back into the NBL-1 North.

In a media release, new Power committee chairman Aaron Cameron and GABA president Mirrin Rashleigh said the incoming committee would be supported by GABA.

"The GABA executive would like to thank the Power coaches and committee for all their hard work and support during this handover," they said.

"The Power has a strong, professional foundation representing Gladstone for nearly 20 years and continues to move forward in a positive direction.

"We look forward to providing further information to the sponsors, fans, players and the basketball community in the coming days."

Walmsley had assembled a competitive roster with NBL development players Atem Atem and Matt Hancock on board, along with Brandon Lucas.

Hancock and Atem won't be a part of the Power while Lucas will wait to see what transpires in the coming weeks.

"Even when we fell out of the NBL-1, I was still pretty comfortable that our commitment was to excellence, albeit at a QSL level, and that we were on a path that we were going to be back (at NBL-1 North level)," Walmsley said.

Cooper said he wanted someone else to step up and fill the void and he said Walmsley's resignation and that of the Power committee were major factors in him stepping aside.

"I have had some really close connections with those people and I have been doing this since day dot with the Power program as a player and coach," he said.

"It's time for a rest and recharge the batteries I guess."

The Power men finished second-last in 2019 with just one win while the women fared a bit better three wins and 13th on the ladder.