Preview of VJBL Phase 2

deanNews, VJBL


As our 23 VJBL Teams head back onto the court this week we wanted to get some words from each of the coaches about the next few weeks and what they are aiming to achieve with their teams.

We were up-and-down in Grading Phase 1. We lost to the teams ranked higher than us, while we beat the team ranked lower than us. In the end, we did what we needed to do to get the most favourable cross-over game.

However, our inconsistency came back to haunt us during that game, staying competitive in the first half, only to fall away in the second resulting in defeat.

As a consequence, we are now required to take part in Grading Phase 2, rather than receiving a pass straight through to VC. I think that playing in more games is actually a benefit to our group, as they will gain more experience playing against this elite level of competition. Hopefully throughout these next handful of games we can find more consistency and start to translate some of the skills they have been developing at training into game situations.    

Our aim is still to qualify for Victorian Championship, and due to our ranking the path remains favourable. By no means, however, does this mean it is going to be easy. The boys are going to have to dig deep, play hard and display a level of effort, energy and intensity befitting of a member of the Geelong Supercat program.

I will be there to support them 100% on every step of the journey, and to continue to remind the group that you are not better than anybody until you beat ’em.

During grading season we played 4 games, winning 2 out of those 4 games which I’m pretty happy with as my team is still learning to understand how each player plays. The boys enjoyed the couple of wins and were super happy with how they all played. With the training’s we had before the games the boys were able to use the new skills and plays we had learnt in the games, which made our winning games even more successful. 

Our goals for phase two is hopefully push ourselves more in our games, work together as a team and to also make it into finals.


Phase 1 the girls played some reasonably good basketball without a lot of success.What they produced pre-xmas, certainly indicated that Phase 2 could be successful enough for the girls to finish in Championship. Where ever we finish hopefully our season will be a successful one. At the moment with only one training a week our success in Phase 2 will depend on how far the girls have come thus far.

During our first round of grading I came into it, not really sure how the girls would go.

As not one of our seven girls had played rep basketball and most are just starting basketball all together.

To go with three bottom age girls we looked a bit lite on for height.

Our first game the girls showed there nerves but fought really hard Collingwood only got away in the last five minutes with the win.


The remaining three games the girls performed very well reading plays of the White board, listening and getting the job done while having a ball doing it.

We won two and the lost was only bye four points, we did play that game with only five in the last quarter too.


Coming into the second stage we have added two new players which will help out the girls a lot, I actually think we would not have lost a game if we had the extra girls.

I’m hoping to see the group get even closer together as a team.

Looking for each other, helping one another.

In terms of what I’m aiming for, well just taking each week as it comes with this fast improving group.

Looking forward to see how far they can go.

In the first round of grading the Under 14(1) boys were able to win their way through to the Victorian Championship.

The team beat Bellarine, Southern Peninsula, lost by one point on the buzzer to McKinnon and accounted for Eltham (2) in a cross over game.

The next three weeks will see the team play practice games against Bulleen at the Arena, Melbourne at MSAC and Hawthorn at Werribee.

Eltham – Dandenong tournament Australia day ‘weekend’.

The u14 2 boys Supercats started the tournament slowly and steadily improved throughout the tournament missing out on finals by ½ a game.

The boys were rotated through positions with various starting 5s used and players getting ample playing time to show their wares.

Many of the boys were used outside of their ‘regular’ positions with many of the boys showing flare for their new roles which gives myself and the other coaches the ability to throw the team around a bit whilst giving the players a chance to excel in their new roles as well as strengthen the roles they have been given in the first phase of qualifying.

As we head into the second phase of grading the players should have confidence to be able to qualify high up in the VJBL system but this will take continued dedication and improvement to reach their goals.

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 The 1st round of grading has gone successfully for our boys who have put in some solid results. The team is really starting to gel well! We have a good level of talent which is growing with confidence with each game. The coming round of grading will be challenging as we have jumped up a number of pools. However I know the boys will give it their all and if the Eltham Tournament is anything to go by, they will deliver achieve what they deserve.
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The under 16-1 boys began the season in the challenge round and suffered a small loss. In grading phase one the boys won all three game and have moved into group AA. Our pool is a tough one and includes Nunawading 1, Bulleen 2 & Ballarat.  Our aim for this season is to gain entry into VC.  Over the Australia Day weekend at the Eltham Dandenong Tournament we achieve a 3 – 2 record and learnt a lot about ourselves.

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The boys have done quite well through phase 1 of grading improving with each game, fitness and team work has been gaining momentum and our plays are slowly coming together. It was disappointing to lose our last game with 2 of our starting 5 away and looking like this will cost us the chance to make it into Metro. I expect the boys to put in a solid phase 2 as we have noted now our strengths and know the areas in which we need to improve. All the boys are putting in a big effort in their training where we are working on both our mental and physical toughness. We are still holding out a glimmer of hope to get into metro, all we can do now is play our best and put the score on the board.

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The 16/4 boys are coming together as a team. We haven’t had any wins through the first part of grading however I am pleased at the progress as we continue to improve.

Hopefully we can get some wins under our belt in Grading phase 2 and continue to develop as a team.


The 16.2 girls have a even blend of top and bottom age girls that have come together really well which shows great character and has created a nice feel around the team. With some easier games at the start of phase 1 we pushed hard for metro but fell short. Phase 2 will again see us pushing for metro and with the great contribution we had from all 11 players in the tournament it’s going to be an exciting year.

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Image may contain: 11 people, people smiling, people standing

We swept our first 3 grading games, allowing us to by-pass the Cross Over round and go straight to Grading Phase 2. From here, our goal is to finish in the Top 2 to give ourselves the best chance to qualify for VC. The boys played extremely well as a team during Grading Phase 1, however will now have to raise the bar as the level of competition increases.

Grading phase 1 provided the boys with the challenges needed at that time of the year and the boys responded well. After a nail biting win in the final game of that phase v Korumburra we managed to qualify for pool cc in grading phase 2 which keeps us in the hunt for a place in vjl1.

Bendigo tournament over the Australia Day weekend provided us with some good preparation coming into the next grading phase and while we lost to Bendigo 2 in the semi final the boys showed progression of our game style and systems and showed glimpses of their capabilities as a team.

The key is to now be consistent and these boys will have a very good year ahead.

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The 18 3 Boys have a good mix of top and bottom age players. Unfortunately we got off to a late start with Brett Ingles and myself only taking up the coaching roles just before Xmas.

After phase 1 of the grading we are still an outside chance of making VJBL 4. We will need to win every remaining game in phase 2 which we are more than capable of if we play the selfless brand of basketball l’m trying to coach into the boys.

Looking to give that extra pass and working hard off the ball for your teammates is the brand we are looking to play.

Having a good hit out in the Bendigo Tournament against quality opposition will hold us in good stead to hit the floor running this Friday night.

Twin towers Tom and Angus will be big targets for us in the post and will crash the boards all year.

Utilities Ben, Griffin and Cooper will be difficult match ups for opposition as they can play tall or small and are hard to stop when going to the rim.

Guards Josh, Jai and Lach will draw the defence with their outside shooting and will be a huge weapon when they heat up from 3.

Looking forward to a fun and successful season with a great bunch of young men.

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After a few changes and some uncertainties early on, our boys settled in pretty quickly, I thought, to playing the game they love and playing it pretty well. During phase 1 grading, the boys played in pool 8. There is a lot of skill in this team and this has been shown throughout this grading phase, with the boys winning all there games, including the two crossover games, to move to Regional C for Phase 2 grading. It is always a long road up, when a team is started so low, but the character of the boys and the team as a whole has really shone through. I would also like to thank Brenton for all his help when I started coaching the team.

We completed grading phase 1 strongly poised in 3rd. A number of players absent with school and family travels left us a little undermanned however the girls strongly rallied and should hold their heads high. Our results. Losses to Kilsyth 1 and a very strong Knox 1 and a win over Werribee 1. We played in a cross-over against Melbourne 1 for auto entry into VC but only narrowly going down to end up in grading phase 2 pool AA with another crack at gaining entry into VC. These rounds see us up against Camberwell, arch nemesis Ballarat and finally Sunbury. I’m hoping with a full contingent, the girls will get the reward for their effort, commitment and dedication shown over the summer break by chalking up the wins and entering VC. Our last game against Sunbury will hopefully lead into a successful BVC Champs campaign that weekend.

The 18 girls 2 this year are a combination of top age and bottom age girls. With the coach away for the tryouts the selection committee got the blend right with strength, speed and ability.

Our team has combined well on and off the court and went through the first Phase of grading undefeated. We are now in Pool CC and after a strong performance at the Eltham and Dandenong Tournament winning 6 out of 7 games, we will look to continue our good work in the second Phase and hopefully qualify for Junior League 2 or 3.

It will be a hard work to make Junior League but with the work ethic of this group, anything is possible.

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Our first round of grading games was a very successful period for the girls.  We won our first two games comfortably & unfortunately lost our last game.  However, we ended up with a three way tie for the top of the pool & ended up on top thanks to a better head to head record.  This meant we didn’t have a cross over game & moved up to the next round.

Over the summer we had a couple of training team bonding sessions including the WNBL game in Geelong & some training in the You Yangs.  We are yet to play with a full team & are looking forward to the next grading phase where we will continue our fight for a spot in the Victoria Junior Leagues.

With grading phase 1 starting this Friday for u/20 Boys, the group is optimistic of making VC. Despite a 0-5 result last weekend at the Eltham-Dandenong tournament, we were much more competitive than record suggested. We were able to match it for stretches against quality opposition. If we play at the level we are capable for 40minutes we will be able to match it with the best in our pool.