Yowies turn to youth to mount State League charge

QUEANBEYAN can be competitive in the NSW Women’s Waratah State League this season despite the club being forced to draw heavily on its talented but largely unproven junior ranks.

That’s according to Queanbeyan Basketball president Jan Browne who is confident the club’s under-16s and under-18s will rise to the challenge of competing in the senior leagues.

The Yowies will likely take to the court in 2013 without the services of a number of key senior players, including perhaps most crucially captain Kristen Langhorn. Langhorn is a possibility of stepping up to the SEABL competition with the Canberra Capitals Academy program.

Queanbeyan had originally been leaning toward entering a side in the Waratah Youth League (under-20s) this season. But Browne said the club would instead tap its junior program to mount a State League campaign.

“We’ll be competitive [this year] in the Women’s State League but this season is also going to be about building up our program,” Browne said.

“We want to start to give the girls some experience at a higher level because we’ve got such a strong junior female program coming through.

“Rather than just entering a Youth League team, we thought the girls would get more out of playing with a few older, more experienced players alongside them.”

The Yowies will be relying on a host of new faces in the likes of up-and-comers Taela Hitchcock and Ellen Combe to carry to Queanbeyan banner.

Queanbeyan Basketball has also confirmed it will be re-entering the NSW Men’s Waratah State League this season.

Unlike the club’s women’s line-up, Queanbeyan’s men’s side appears set to remain largely unchanged from last year’s outfit that went within one game of reaching the State League finals.

One exception could be the inclusion of former Yowies star Jono Lazaro who spent last season plying his trade with Goulburn in the NSW Waratah Youth League.

Any players interested in trialling with the Queanbeyan Yowies men’s or women’s programs should contact Queanbeyan Basketball president Jan Browne on 0403 290 503.

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