Sharks bank on young captains to lead

New leaders: Sutherland Sharks co-captains Jason Freshwater and Tony Trajceski. Picture: Jane DysonWITH almost half of Sutherland’s basketball squad moving on, coach Peter Rayner has banked on youth, highlighted by the decision to appoint two young co-captains.
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The Sharks have been hit hard by the the retirement of former NBL star and skipper BJ Carter along with a host of other veterans including Ufojan Isbicer, Matt Rice and Brendan Gleeson.

But what the squad lacks in experience they make up for in youthful exuberance, Rayner says.

“Energy has been a big thing in the pre-season,” Rayner said.

“We play a very quick style and play according to the squad’s strength. I think it can be successful for us.”

Despite retiring, Carter remains as an assistant coach at the club.

In his place, Rayner has appointed co-captains in youngsters Jason Freshwater, 21, and 25-year-old Tony Trajceski.

Freshwater returns to the squad after a broken jaw saw him miss a large chunk of last season.

The former Sutherland youth league captain said he did not feel any extra burden with the captaincy.

“I find it easy to lead,” Freshwater said.

“It’s going to be a great year and to be able to take that leadership role I’ll be able to help guys get to that next level and hopefully be a big motivator.”

The squad will also have US-college-bound players Jordan West and Cameron Stewart for the bulk of the season.

Long-term first-team player Trajceski said he wanted the side to better last season’s result.

“We got knocked out in the first round of the play-offs,” Trajceski said.

“I want to get past that stage.”

Sutherland started their season with a round one 56-44 win against Manly Warringah Sea Eagles at Sutherland Basketball Stadium on Saturday night.

Debutant Cameron Stewart scored 23 points for the Sharks.

They play Hills Hornets from 5pm on Saturday at Hills Basketball Stadium, Castle Hill.

Posted by at 24/04/2018
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