WARRNAMBOOL Seahawks are bullish about their 2019 prospects after luring two former Big V players back to basketball.
Seahawks championship-winning guard Josh Dean and former Chelsea co-captain Nick Alexandrou will suit up for the Tim Gainey-coached side when the season launches on March 16.
Dean returns following a one-season stint with Hampden Football Netball League club Warrnambool, while Alexandrou joins following a best-and-fairest-winning campaign with Warrnambool and District league outfit East Warrnambool.
“We have a lot of new guys as well and the younger guys have got a bit older, a bit stronger which is always a bit of a plus,” Gainey said of the Seahawks’ new roster.
“I think we will be a lot better this year as far as depth.
“We definitely have two teams now – we can play 10 to 12 players.”
Gainey said Alexandrou, who played ruck for the Bombers, would add to the Seahawks’ height stocks.
“I’ve been trying to get him to play for ages but it’s never worked out but this year we got in early enough to get him,” he said.
“I used to play against him all the time. He played at Chelsea. He was a basketballer when he moved here.
“He got picked up (for footy) because he was pretty athletic so they put him in the ruck. He was a really handy player at Chelsea.”
Dean will slot back in as a point guard.
“He’s strictly playing basketball which is good for us,” Gainey said.
“He’ll be a big help in the guard side of things. He helped us win a championship a few years ago.”
The Seahawks have also welcomed AJ Cunningham – the son of club legend Bobby.
The Cunninghams, who spent time in Adelaide, have returned to the south-west, giving Gainey access to the son-of-a-gun.
“He’ll be about six-foot-seven, so we’ve turned out to be a really big team which is good,” he said.
Alex Gynes, Ollie Bidmade, James Mitchell, Liam Osborne and emerging tall Aidan Carroll have all committed for another season.
“James has moved back from Geelong so having him here for all trainings is going to be beneficial,” Gainey said.
“We lose the likes of Jay Rantall which is disappointing but I think he’s going to try his hand in footy.”
Gainey will have “at least nine development players” who will rotate through the roster.
“We’ve still got to talk to the committee about how that’s going to fit because we’re still going to try and make them play in a few under-23 tournaments,” he said.
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