After being eliminated from the NBL1 competition, Ballarat Miners head coach Brendan Joyce said he hoped to keep the majority of the core group together for the 2020 season.
The Miners fell agonisingly short of a grand final berth on Saturday night after losing by seven points to the Nunawading Spectres at home.
With its season now over, Joyce said the team would hold discussions with players regarding next season. He confirmed however it's unlikely the same team will take the floor.
"At this level of competition there is always going to be change. There will be guys going on to higher levels and we wish them well, that's our job," he said.
The Miners boasted a talented core of players in 2019 which helped elevate the club to the top of the NBL1 ladder.
The success saw starters Kuany Kuany and Deng Acuoth land NBL contracts, while American import Jerry Evans junior was named the club's most valuable player.
But with success comes opportunity. And the retention of players may not be easy with the likes of Kuany and Deng set to plant their roots in new cities, Joyce told The Courier.
Evans and fellow import Marqueze Coleman may also field offers from overseas clubs, and would have to do what is best for themselves, he said.
"It would be good if we could keep the majority of the team together but sometimes that's beyond our control because of offers to play overseas or in the NBL," Joyce said.
Despite the uncertainly, Joyce remained optimistic.
We'll continue to work with our younger players in Ballarat and try and get them to be major contributors on the Miners.Brendan Joyce
After exceeding expectations in 2019, he said the team would aim to achieve similar success next year. He said if one player doesn't return it could open the door for a young player to come in.
What's more, with the club's development program earning a promotion into the top youth competition in the state, Joyce said the senior team would continue to provide opportunities.
"If we are going to develop our local guys to make the Miners team, they need to be playing at the highest level. It was important for us to align this year, and we've worked together and I think that was really helpful," he said.
"We'll continue to work with our younger players in Ballarat and try and get them to be major contributors for the Miners."
Ballarat's year came to an end on Saturday at the hands of a bigger and older Spectres outfit still feeling the sting of a grand final loss in the SEABL competition in 2018.
Joyce said the experience and adversity gained last year would have helped them overcome a sold-out crowd at the Minerdome.
Although disappointed by the loss, Joyce said it was important to keep things in perspective.
"It was a positive season, we brought a new group of guys together, we had seven players who weren't in the team last year," he said.
"We had a good year which set us up well going into the new stadium, and got people excited about basketball again with two home finals. So it was a good year from a community perspective."