White confident his Lions team can hold its own in new surrounds
THE HEAD Coach of Dublin Lions’ new Women’s National League team, Rob White is excited to see how his side will fare in their first sortie into the second-highest ranks of Irish club basketball.
White has brought in five new players to supplement the handful who have risen through the club ranks and helped the Clondalkin side to a third-place finish in the Under 18 National Cup last season.
Emily Smyth, Katie Flanagan, Aoibhin Dunne, Tara Nevin, Ciara Broderick and Esther Nlebemuo were among those players who figured strongly in that campaign and helped Lions also finish joint top of the Dublin League with Liffey Celtics, to whom they lost in the Cup decider.
Among the five new players on board this season is American centre, Amelia Motz who played Division One college basketball with Iona and Division Two with Alaska.
Also new to the Lions set-up are sisters, Ciara and Gillian Wheeler who previously lined out with Portlaoise National League team, former Super League player with DCU, Rachel Brennan and ex-Liffey Celtics player, Ana Postarnakova.
The Lions will tip-off their National League campaign with a trip to Tolka Rovers on October 8 and White is hopeful they can make their presence felt in their new surrounds.
“We’re quite a young team, but we’ll hold our own I’m sure” he told The Echo.
“We’ll be competitive, but until we see the opposition and see how our American fits in, I’m not sure how competitive.
“A lot of the women’s team will have two professionals. We had been talking about getting a Spanish girl, but she got injured and so can’t come.
“For the moment we’ll have one professional, although we may decide to go out and get a second one” he added.
For White, fielding a women’s team in the National League ranks will only help incentivise the young emerging players in the club.
“We’re growing now and it’s great for the younger girls” he stressed. “We’ve a very good group of girls from Under 13 down and it gives them something to look forward to.”