TAMWORTH Thunderbolts were knocked out of last year’s Waratah State League by Hawkesbury Jets Black.
Tonight, they match up against the Hawkesbury Jets Orange in a sudden death final on the Tamworth Sports Dome Show Court with a 7pm tip-off that could head the John Ireland-coached side deeper into the playoffs than it has been for a number of years.
And Ireland believes he has the experience and talent in his team to go deeper in the WSL.
“We are confident, we do have a few guys who have been there before, our skipper David Bourke, Justin (Leehy) and Krugie (Luke Krug). They’ll help settle the young guys down and get us through.
“It’s going to be big night for us. And we’ve also got a captain’s run and recovery at Bourkie’s place on Sunday too.
“The boys are determined. We’ve also got Krugie and Max Chillingworth coming back into the squad from last weekend’s junior stuff as well.”
He said the form of Matt Monkton and Darren Manoharan has also stepped up and he expects US import Tevin Hurd and young forward Rhys Chillingworth “to be big for us”
“Tevin will be aggressive in offence and we want to go off the back of him. We had really good ball movement last weekend.”
The only down side of last weekend was a drop off on defence in the second half of both games.
“We got complacent,” Ireland said.
“Our defence will be a focus, we want to play four good quarters.”
Tip off is at 7pm.
TAMWORTH THUNDERBOLTS: Matt Monckton, Darren Manoharan, Luke Krug, Justin Leehy, Tevin Hurd, Max Chillingworth, Rhys Chillingworth, Joe Hassan, Cody Miller, David Bourke (capt). Coach: John Ireland.