Jayco Opals tip off World Title defence

Jayco Opals tip off World Title defence

The Jayco Australian Opals' defence of their world title begins on Saturday when the 2010 squad gathers for the first time at a training camp at the Australian Institute of Sport.

Sixteen members of the Jayco Opals’ World Championship squad will be in attendance at the camp that concludes on Friday April 30, including WNBA star Lauren Jackson and 2009/10 WNBL All-Star Five member Liz Cambage.

The camp will be the first time Head Coach Carrie Graf will have Beijing Olympians Jackson, Suzy Batkovic-Brown, Tully Bevilaqua and Kristi Harrower training with the national squad since taking over as coach in December 2008.

“I think the fact that we have three of the starters from Beijing, in Harrower, Batkovic-Brown and Jackson, is a big statement and a positive part of our preparation for the Worlds in September,” Graf said.

“This camp is about re-establishing the things that are critical to the Opals; some of our team themes that have formed the foundation of previous Opals successes and really to put in place some of our systems that will be working with this core group in the lead up to the World Championship.”

Beijing Olympians Laura Summerton and Jenni Screen are also intending to join the squad in Canberra however the players, based in Italy, may be unable to attend the camp due to flight delays in Europe following the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier volcano.

The training camp provides an opportunity for the squad members to make their claim for selection in the Jayco Opals team for the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women to be held in the Czech Republic from September 23 – October 3.

JAYCO OPALS ATTENDING TRAINING CAMP:
Name/Club /Age/Junior Association

Suzy BATKOVIC-BROWN / Canberra Capitals / 29 / Newcastle, NSW
Tully BEVILAQUA / Indiana Fever (WNBA) / 37 / Merredin, WA
Abby BISHOP / Dandenong Rangers / 21 / Forestville & North Adelaide, SA
Elizabeth CAMBAGE / Bulleen Boomers / 18 / Dandenong, VIC
Rachael FLANAGAN / Townsville Fire / 28 / Forestville, SA
Kristi HARROWER / Bendigo Spirit / 35 / Bendigo, VIC
Natalie HURST
/ Aix-en-Provence (France) / 27 / Canberra, ACT
Lauren JACKSON / Canberra Capitals & Seattle Storm (WNBA) / 28 / Albury, NSW
Jenna O’HEA / Bulleen Boomers / 22 / Nunawading, VIC
Elyse PENALUNA / Bulleen Boomers / 21 / Broadmeadows, VIC
Jennifer SCREEN / Basket Parma (Italy) / 28 / Toowoomba, QLD
Deanna SMITH / Sydney Uni Flames / 29 / Bendigo, Warrnambool & Melbourne, VIC
Laura SUMMERTON / Basket Parma (Italy) / 26 / Sturt, SA
Marianna TOLO / Canberra Capitals / 20 / Mackay, QLD
Carly WILSON / Canberra Capitals / 27 / Nunawading, VIC
Hanna ZAVECZ / Bulleen Boomers / 24 / Wangaratta, VIC

Staff:
Head Coach: Carrie Graf
Assistant Coaches: Peter Buckle, Michele Timms, Phil Brown
Physiotherapists: Rachel McAlister, Graeme Backen
Doctor: Dr David Hughes
Manager: Renae Maycock