FUN DAY: Bundaberg Bulls import Willie Shackleford takes revenge on coach Darryn Roche by dunking him at the Amazing Race Bundaberg Fun Day held at WIN Stadium. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
FUN DAY: Bundaberg Bulls import Willie Shackleford takes revenge on coach Darryn Roche by dunking him at the Amazing Race Bundaberg Fun Day held at WIN Stadium. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

Hard work by the coach has the Bulls ready for a slam dunk

DARRYN Roche spends most of his time thinking of ways to improve the Bundaberg Bulls, and after a 2013 season that was one to forget he had no rest over the summer.

Roche was busy building his roster for a shot at the title and with the addition of a few new names to a list led by Willie Shackleford (Shak) he is happy with his team.

Shackleford is the heart and soul of the Bulls and his presence is feared and admired across the league, Roche said the recruiting he did strengthened an area the team fell down on last year.

"Everyone knows our biggest strength is Shak - and we've signed a couple of point guards - the thing we missed in the last couple of years is a serious point guard that can bring the ball up the court and set plays up," Roche said.

"The players I chased this off season are ones I think could play a high-tempo game and push that ball up the court.

"The two guards I signed are defensively orientated, the game starts on the defensive end, if we can work on that area we can be pretty good."

Joining Shackleford on court will be Australian Under-19 representative Bryce Arnott, Breland Hogan from the Grand Valley Lakers in the USA and 205cm power forward Dwayne Radcliffe.

Roche said the trio's addition ensure he was confident the Bulls will have some good results in 2014.

"On paper it's a very strong team, it's probably the strongest we've had in a couple of years," he said.

"There is a bit of experience mixed with a bit of youth."

Among the list of experienced players Roche has at his disposal there is also some of Bundaberg's rising stars; teenagers Adam Murchie (17), Bryce Davis (16), Cameron Duncan (15) and Anthony Gardner (17) who are looking to forge a career in the sport.

Roche added the decision to add the young players to list was part of a long-term plan for Basketball and he hoped the experience the gain will serve the team well in the future.

It will be found out soon if the effort Roche put in over the summer was worth it and he said he couldn't wait to find out himself.

"I'm really excited for the season, it's been a long off season and I just want the season to start so we can get cracking," Roche said.

"I think we will turn some heads this year."



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