Virus pulls the rug from under promising season

Justin FrisSouth Western Times
The COVID-19 pandemic has proved to be a testing time for all SBL coaches, including Slammers women’s boss Nathan Grover.
Camera IconThe COVID-19 pandemic has proved to be a testing time for all SBL coaches, including Slammers women’s boss Nathan Grover. Credit: Justin Fris

Having just completed the 2020 SBL Pre-Season Blitz last month, Printsync South West Slammers women’s coach Nathan Grover was full of confidence heading into the regular season.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic worsened and put him through one of the more stressful periods of his coaching career to date.

“I had gone in the space of 24 hours from addressing the group at training on Tuesday night advising them of the situation to the following morning when I was on the phone to Naturaliste Travel in Busselton booking international flights for all of the Slammers imports to leave that night,” he said.

“It was a really crazy and stressful 24-48 hours. And in the end, it was a sad way to go. Butwe were not alone as it was the same for every club in the league.

“The instructions were if the season was to go ahead, it would be without imports. So, really, we were left with no choice.”

Grover was impressed with how import trio Brittni Montgomery, Mari Stewart and Tea Charlton conducted themselves during their time in training camp and would be keen for them all to return again next season.

“I made it clear to everyone that this is not the end as a group,” he said. “We knew what we were getting with Brittni obviously, while Mari and Tea were the unknown elements. However, for the system I wanted to put in this year, they were all perfect fits.

“So I made it clear although we were sending them back on a plane, in 10 months time we would be doing it again.”

Due to living in Mandurah, the Slammers boss is not permitted to travel outside of the Perth/Peel region under the current regional border restrictions, so he has been forced to communicate with his players and co-coaches electronically.

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