Jayco Opals Name Extended Squad For Olympic Qualifiers

Jayco Opals Name Extended Squad For Olympic Qualifiers

The Jayco Australian Opals have moved a step closer to the 2016 Rio Olympics, naming a 34-player extended squad from which the final team will be selected.

Named in the squad are the twelve bronze-medallists from the 2014 FIBA World Championships, with a number of 2012 London Olympians that missed the World Championships also included in the squad, including the likes of Lauren Jackson, Kathleen Macleod, Elizabeth Cambage, Jenna O’Hea, Suzy Batkovic and Abby Bishop.

The combination of Jackson and Cambage, widely regarded as one of the deadliest frontcourt duos in the world, were late injury withdrawals from the World Championships, but both have been included in the squad as they continue along the road to recovery in time to feature in the Opals qualifiers against the Tall Ferns.

The WNBL is strongly represented amongst the athletes, with 28 of the 34 named players featuring in the WNBL this season.

Marianna Tolo and Erin Phillips, who both claimed a bronze medal with the Opals in Turkey, lead a strong contingent of internationally based stars, which also includes veterans Jenna O’Hea and Natalie Hurst.

Sporting a mix of established Opals stars with Olympic experience and emerging young talent, Head Coach Brendan Joyce said that it was important to select a squad that could carry the momentum built at the World Championships.

“It is an exciting time for the Jayco Opals as we begin our preparation for the Olympic qualification and the Olympic games in Rio 2016. Once again we have named an extended squad to build towards the Rio Olympics, this was proven to be successful for our World Championship campaign building depth and competition in the squad,” Joyce said.

“There is a lot of work to be done across the next 6 months to secure Olympic qualification. We are under no illusions that we need to improve across the next 18 months and absolutely must maintain our strong team culture and great team chemistry to continue the Jayco Opals success at the Olympic games.”

“It is pleasing to see so many of our players recognised with WNBA opportunities after a successful World Championship campaign, it reinforces how highly the Jayco Opal program is respected throughout the world. ”

A shortened squad of a maximum of 24 players for the upcoming camp at the Basketball Australia National Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Canberra will be announced this week.

The Olympic qualifiers will be played in August.

Extended Jayco Australian Opals Squad

1. Rebecca Allen - Melbourne Boomers

2. Suzy Batkovic - Townsville Fire

3. Sara Blicvas - Bendigo Spirit

4. Abby Bishop - University of Canberra Capitals

5. Alex Bunton - Adelaide Lightning

6. Natalie Burton - Melbourne Boomers

7. Elizabeth Cambage

8. Rebecca Cole - Melbourne Boomers

9. Aimie Clydesdale - Dandenong Rangers

10. Stephanie Cumming - Townsville Fire

11. Katie Rae Ebzery - Sydney Uni Flames

12. Cayla Francis - Townsville Fire

13. Laura Hodges - Adelaide Lightning

14. Natalie Hurst Peac – Pecs (Hungary)

15. Lauren Jackson - University of Canberra Capitals

16. Rachel Jarry - Melbourne Boomers

17. Alice Kunek - Dandenong Rangers

18. Tessa Lavey - Bendigo Spirit

19. Tess Madgen - Melbourne Boomers

20. Kathleen McLeod - Dandenong Rangers

21. Leilani Mitchell - Sydney Uni Flames

22. Mia Newley - Townsville Fire

23. Jenna O'Hea - Lattes Montpellier (France)

24. Erin Phillips - LA Sparks

25. Elyse Penaluna - Bendigo Spirit

26. Gabrielle Richards - Bendigo Spirit

27. Lauren Scherf - Dandenong Rangers

28. Belinda Snell - Bendigo Spirit

29. Stephanie Talbot - University of Canberra Capitals

30. Penny Taylor - Dandenong Rangers

31. Marianna Tolo - Bourges (France)

32. Louella Tomlinson - West Coast Waves

33. Kelly Wilson - Bendigo Spirit

34. Hanna Zavecz - University of Canberra Capitals

Head Coach – Brendan Joyce

Assistant Coaches – Damian Cotter, Lori Chizik

Analyst – Scott Butler

Doctor – Dr Simone Page

Physiotherapist – Rachel McAlister/Kay Copeland

Soft Tissue Therapist – Kerry Lawrence

Manager – Tamara Sheppard