STARTING the season with a near-new roster suits Ballarat Miners coach David Flint.
The past six weeks, since his appointment at the helm, Flint has been working hard to shape a young Miners outfit into playing as he wants them to.
Experienced players have been added – the latest, imposing American Keena Young, arriving on Thursday night – and National Basketball League signings Shaun Bruce and Lucas Walker will arrive next month.
Flint looked forward to testing an eight-man squad tonight in the Ballarat Subaru Miners’ South East Australian Basketball League season opener at the Minerdome.
Effectively, Flint is starting from scratch.
New captain Bruce is the sole returning Miner with major SEABL experience, including 28 matches last season.
Young gun Anthony Fisher, who played 21 matches in 2012, has the most of the emerging Miners. Sean Massey tasted some minutes last year.
The Miners missed out on finals last season in a complicated win–loss process.
But Flint, with Miners legend Eric Hayes at his side, will be out to build their own success -– starting with Mt Gambier tonight.
“It’s a great thing (starting with a new-look squad),” Flint said.
“I’ve spent the past six years coaching Country Victoria state teams and coached Lindsay Cole, Fish and Massey.
“I spent time with them in a six-week block and now it’s great, I get to coach a team for 28 games in SEABL competition in a seven-month season.
“I love the time I’ve spent on the floor with them already.”
Flint took on the Miners’ coaching role mid-February, replacing Guy Molloy who unexpectedly stepped down in late December for family reasons.
He is well-versed in SEABL action and arrived at the Minerdome with legendary pedigree.
Flint is arch-rival Bendigo Braves’ all-time leader in games played, rebounds, blocks, assists and steals.
He took the Braves to their first championship in 1988 as a playing-coach.
This is why he wasted little time in sorting out his roster with a minimum three to four training sessions each week, plus pre-season hit-outs.
Tip-off is 8pm at the Minerdome.