Land of the giants

AFTER the outstanding second season success in the State Basketball League, Head Coach Phil Atkinson is rearing to go into the 2005 competition.

As predicted, 2004 was a pivotal year which saw the Suns men's team battle out the finals at Newcastle with the Goulburn Bears, and in a hard fought but incredibly frustrating game of basketball, with the Suns finishing an amazing third in the State.

Suns vice-captain for 2004, Shannon Rowe was awarded the prestigious most valuable player of the year award (MVP) for the league and was put in the All-Star Five.

Suns Coach Phil Atkinson was awarded the NSW State Basketball League coach of the year.

The Suns also received the 'best game promotions' and The Coffs Coast Advocate didnt miss out either receiving the 'best print coverage' award.

Now 2005 is upon us and the first training session has been set down for January 30 at the Coffs Harbour Community Indoor stadium from 2pm to 4pm.

Atkinson indicates that he is pretty confident with how the team is shaping.

"Rebuilding half the team is quite a task and basically that is three of our starting five," he said.

"We've lost both guards in Josh and Mitchell, and we've picked up the bigs.

"After the scrimmages run last month, there has been a good turn up for the squad from last season and a few new surprises have arrived from, where else, the Goulburn Bears - Jo McGann and Sean Murphy."

Atkinson has appointed Gordon Kovacevic and Jason Blanchard as assistant coaches, along with seasoned manager Noel Pulliene.

Scott Davies and Shannon Rowe will be co-captains this season in what Phil professes will probably be the biggest team ever put on the court in State League.

Sporting at least four bigs varying in size from six foot six to six foot eight, the Suns will be playing a whole new ball game.

With a second season of experience in State League now under their belts, the Suns foresee another exciting season with positive depth for a record shattering 2005 assault.

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