The Northern Territory news Thu 20 Feb 2020
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
36 SPORT THURSDAY FEBRUARY 20 2020 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Mitchell working to see NBL1 team in NT JOSH SPASARO JOHN Mitchell has only been the Basketball NT CEO for six months, but already he has some bold plans for the games future. At the forefront of his thinking is the ambition to establish an NBL1 team under Northern Territory colours in the Top End. To play at a new stadium at Palmerston is his preference. The NBL1 is one rung below the premier NBL competition. One of the pathways we really do need to look at is the NBL1. Ive briefly spoken to the NBL and said dont discount the Northern Territory with your planning and thinking going ahead, Mitchell told the NT News. I reckon by 2022 we should have an established Northern Territory NBL1 team, which will be fantastic. Theres still a lot of work to do. It will provide all our kids another pathway opportunity. We currently have Abby Cubillo playing in the WNBL in Canberra. Wouldnt it be great if we had another path way for our kids to aspire to? Weve got to create it, and thats what we want to create. Over the past six months, Mitchell has been successful in securing additional funding for Basketball NT. This has increased the possibility of the construction of a new stadium in Palmerston, which could be the new headquarters for BNT. With the Tier 1 funding were now receiving, our chair Anne Coleman is very pleased, Mitchell said. Weve been working towards this for some time. Its been achieved through working with the NT Government and meeting governance funding requirements. It gives us another $75,000 in funding every year. We want more kids playing basketball and thats why the new venue at Palmerston is required. And well be happy to share it with other sports. Theres a big block of land where the rugby league stadium is out there. The main focus is making basketball as good as we can make it. Were working with our associations in order to create that opportunity. Mitchell said he was prepared to be patient in his dream for BNT to have its own new stadium, but the work has already begun in order to make his vision a reality. Its Day 1 and the start of a long journey, he said. Im very close to finalising a business submission (for the stadium at Palmerston). I cant say much more about it at this stage. But my vision is for an NBL1 team to base itself out at Palmerston. Basketball NT CEO John Mitchells bold plans for the future include an NBL1 team and new stadium Picture: KERI MEGELUS Queenants eye off first finals victory NATHANIEL CHAMBERS SOUTH Fremantle strongman Michael Coombes is enjoying life at the finals-bound Buffaloes upon his return to the NTFL. The former St Marys midfielder came back to the NTFL to rejuvenate his passion for the sport. He then made the move to AFTER a thrilling last-round win over Darwin, the Queenants are in position to score their first-ever win in the NTFL Womens Premier League finals. PINT joint coach Katie Streader said her side was ecstatic to reach the postseason and believes that this year her teammates have the momentum to go deep. We are rapt, we set our minds to the task a month ago so its great to make it in, Streader told the NT News. Were all on the same page, know our roles and back each other. This year we had to work hard but that has given us so much momentum going into finals. PINT has been in the top division of womens footy since 2016 and with the exception of its inaugural season has managed to make finals every year. A win against the Buffs was an absolute must for the Queenants, with the side also needing Wanderers to lose against Palmerston. We played hard and played with heart. Everyone out there had common goals. There were no passengers just 22 girls out there to play, Streader said. (Kristen Smits) was relentless, she doesnt stop. She was pushing up the ground, making excellent marks and putting on great tackles through the whole game. Cassie Henderson and Abby Glasser are another two to have given their all for the side throughout the season. The Queenants will face the Magpies in the first final and will need the same intensity and team buy-in that has carried them into the finals. We just need to play our game and go out as one team with one common goal, Streader said. The biggest thing is our heart and our commitment to each other. We just have that buy in for each other. This is the most excited Ive been to go into any kind of finals campaign. Fun-loving Coombes rediscovers his passion with one of the best moves I ever made the Green Machines league rivals when they were unable to fly him up. Probably one of the best moves I have made, Coombes told the NT News. One of the main decisions behind the move was that Saints couldnt fly me up. But it has turned into a move that I am happy with. Ive been playing high level footy all of my life. I wanted to come home this season to find that passion for it again. Coombes trains with his WAFL club four to five times a week while finding time to train whenever else he can. The extended training regime has paid dividends, with the good form he has shown over his six games with Dar win. And despite the limited appearances for the doubleblues, Coombes already feels a strong attachment to the side. He was hurting after its disappointing loss to his old club on the weekend, the Buffs holding a 23-point lead at halftime before being defeated by 14. Buffs loss to Saints forced them into fifth and into a door-die encounter against Southern Districts. That loss hurt, I go out there to win, Ive only been with Buffs for a short time but that loss hurt, Coombes said. We have to go out there against Districts with the same mentality we had at the start against Saints. We cant fall away from our structures and we want to have some fun out there. I find that everything falls into place when youre having fun. We played well for three and a half quarters against Saints but they put the pressure on and things got kind of difficult for us. But we still believe we have a real chance this year. NATHANIEL CHAMBERS