WROBEL AIMING TO MAINTAIN LEVEL OF SUCCESS AT U20 AND IVOR BURGE CHAMPS

WROBEL AIMING TO MAINTAIN LEVEL OF SUCCESS AT U20 AND IVOR BURGE CHAMPS

2018 got off to the perfect start for Mark Wrobel as he helped the Townsville Fire claim the WNBL Championship and he is now aiming to carry that success into the Under-20 and Ivor Burge Championships as head coach of the Queensland Under-20 women.

A key piece on the sidelines for the Fire, Wrobel was a part of the club's historic back-to-back Championships in 2014/15 and 2015/16 and Townsville have now created a dynasty with their third title in four seasons coming last month.

The Fire defeated the Melbourne Boomers in a three-game series to claim the 2017/18 Championship and Wrobel can now add the trophy to his extensive collection which already boasts five international gold medals including a World Championship with the Australian Under-17 Sapphires in 2016 as well as two Junior Championship medals.

Miela Goodchild, a member of that gold medal winning Sapphires team, was also a part of Townsville's Championship this season alongside Haylee Andrews while Majella Carey spent time with the Fire during the pre-season and that trio will spearhead the Queensland Under-20 women's side at this year's Champs under Wrobel's tutelage.

"I'm looking forward to coaching Miela and Haylee again but also going to battle against some of the other Sapphires this week," Wrobel said.

"It's always a great honour representing your state and it is exciting to have the best athletes from Queensland, combining north and south, in one team."

Queensland South were victorious at the Under-16 Championships three years ago with Wrobel as an assistant coach and from that team, Ula Motuga, Paige Bayliss, Jade Kirisome and Jessica McDowell-White are all back to relive the glory.

"This team has already had great success including the Queensland South gold medal from a few years ago and now the north athletes have come in to inject some more energy into the team," said Wrobel.

"Under-20's is always a quick preparation but this team is an outstanding group and we want to go home with that trophy."

Wrobel will be implementing what he can from the successful Townsville franchise as well as the Australian systems into the Queensland Under-20's team but understands that what works for one team may not be suitable for another.

"We'll be doing our best to utilise those strategies. We will convert some things to make them work for the Under-20's but this group will certainly play it's own brand of basketball.

"We want to get out and run and put pressure on oppositions to defend us. We have got great coverage at every spot and will look to cause headaches all over the floor."

The systems implemented by Townsville and Australian junior teams can also assist the players in their future endeavors with this year's Under-20's marking the end of the junior pathway for most players.

"We will also take a lot of knowledge from those programs and inject it into these athletes so that when they go on to the next step, it's not a daunting prospect for them."

Keep up to date with all the results and LiveStats from the 2018 Under-20 and Ivor Burge Championships here.

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