By Luke D’Anello KEILOR Thunder coach Steve Toy is certain a finals appearance in Big V Women’s division two will benefit his young outfit. The second-placed Thunder have rubber-stamped a…
KEILOR Thunder coach Steve Toy is certain a finals appearance in Big V Women’s division two will benefit his young outfit.
The second-placed Thunder have rubber-stamped a finals spot and their attention is now focused on taking out the top-prize, after Saturday night’s 58-51 win against Camberwell.
Keilor has won 13 of 17 fixtures this season and sits in third position on the ladder, two wins adrift of Chelsea and McKinnon.
But Toy is aware finals are a different ball-game and his side’s victory over Chelsea four weeks ago has given him confidence the Thunder are among the legitimate contenders for the title.
“I’m very pleased with how we’ve gone this year. Last year was a bit of a rebuilding year and we’ve tried to work from there and progress forward,” Toy said.
“The four losses were against good teams who should make the finals, so we feel as though we’re going to be pretty competitive come finals time.
“The club’s developed really well. We’ve got some good young girls in the group and I think the finals will be a great experience for them. I think that will be really important for our future.
“Ideally, I would love to win the championship and move up into division one next year, now that we’re in the finals.
“That’s our goal and we’ve been speaking about it during the year. We don’t see any reason why we can’t beat the sides who are in the finals.
“It will come down to a bit of luck and shooting the ball well, and playing with good intensity.”
Toy heaped praise on Belinda Ancora, who recovered from a long-term injury to play a vital role this season. Other stand-outs include Kristen Mavor and youngster Jessica Francke.
Toy said this week’s clash with second-placed McKinnon, in the final-round of the regular season, will provide the perfect preparation for the finals series.
He is hopeful he will have access to a full squad in the coming weeks, as usual starter Nala Tubb, who has played just one game this season, makes a bid to return from injury.
Katherine Black is another who has experienced an injury-interrupted season.
“There should be a fair bit of competition for playing spots. I’m hoping everybody will step up and really work hard in the next couple of weeks.”
“I think we’ve developed a really good team spirit and work ethic, which has continued throughout the year.
“On our day, I think we match-up pretty well with all the sides.”