Cooper sees ray of light at Gladstone Port City Power
BASKETBALL: Gladstone Port City Power Central Apartment Breakers coach Ray Cooper says he is confident of success in the not-too-distant future.
Cooper re-signed to lead the Power women team for the next two seasons in a sign of surety that the team is heading in the right direction.
The Power sit 13th on the QBL ladder with just four wins, but Cooper said with more resources, as promised by club chairperson Alison Murdoch, the team would have the ability to close out games.
Gladstone let two games slip against Rockhampton Cyclones in round one (82-78) and 65-60 in a return bout in round four, a one and two-point heart-breakers against Cairns Marlins in rounds six and 14.
"The committee have done a great job and have been very supportive though out the season," Cooper said.
"With more resources next year we will be looking to make a bigger impact in the league. I feel that next season and beyond the women's program will be successful."
Of those players he wants the Power to be a part of the progression plan are Ashleigh Kelman-Poto, Amarah Coleman and Akilah Bethel - the three who have been consistent.
Young point guards Briana Bailey and Erin Geer have taken giant strides this season toward becoming classy QBL players.
"Erin came back a different player with this being her second year," Cooper said.
"She has found a way to make an impact and build trust not only with her team-mates but with all the coaching staff."
"Bri is continually growing in the QBL and I feel this has been her best year yet."
"Our players are prepared and coached in a professional manner," Cooper said.
"We expect to be a better performing QBL program than we have shown and we will see that in effect in 2020."
Getting minutes into the legs of Gladstone products Mirrin Rashleigh, Kiah Guinea and Gabby Oram will also stand the Power in good stead for the future.
"The connection between our junior players and senior men is as strong as ever, genuinely showcasing the aspirational nature of our program to the young ones," Murdoch said.
"The women are working towards similar improvements with the inclusion of local roster additions this season."
More what Cooper said:
What sort of things had been discussed between you and the Power committee re: resources, budget etc?
The committee understand what's required to field a competitive team and a professional outfit and we are working closely to get this outcome.
Did you feel under pressure at all throughout the season?
There definitely is pressure as its being a very competitive league this season. More than anything I want the Power to succeed as this is my seventh year being a part of the women's program. It comes down to how we prepare week in and week out which gives us confident heading into games.
Have the likes of class players Amara, Akilah and Ash along with Bri and Erin indicated that they want to play next season and beyond?
All players have been very coach-able and have had the freedom to be able to express there talents within our style. I look forward to our last home game against Gold Coast this weekend together. I have enjoyed what they have bought to the program overall.