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Brendan Joyce to lead Opals to Rio

16 May 2013

BASKETBALL: Brendan Joyce has been announced by Basketball Australia as head coach of the Australian Opals women's basketball team, taking over from Carrie Graf in a full-time capacity.

As part of the new role, Joyce also becomes head of the women's program at the Basketball Australia National Centre of Excellence at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

One of Australia's most highly respected coaches, Joyce served as an assistant for the Australian Boomers from 2001-'09, including two Olympic Games and the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

He also brings high-level domestic experience to the Opals as a two-time NBL coach of the year, having taken the Wollongong Hawks to their first and only NBL championship and amassing more than 400 games as a NBL coach.

Looking forward to the challenge ahead, Joyce said he would continue to set high standards for the women's national team as they aimed for a sixth consecutive Olympic medal at the 2016 Rio Games.

"I'm proud and honoured to be appointed head coach of the Opals program," Joyce said.

"Many of our Opals are among the best athletes in the world, and the success achieved by Opals coaches and players past and present has put them firmly on the international stage.

"The Opals have medalled at the last five Olympic Games making them one of Australia's most consistent women's national teams and that's an achievement not to be underestimated.

"We've talked a big game about success at the Olympics, and now it's time to back that up. In my opinion, it's not about what we say - it's about what we do.

"Our preparation has to be near perfect. We have to be the fittest and best-conditioned team in the world and we have to play with intelligence.

"Every championship-winning team boasts those traits and, if we put them in place with the Opals, I know we can aim high in Rio."

Joyce has been contracted through to the end of the 2016 Rio Olympics, with a full performance review to take place after the 2014 FIBA World Championships.

AAP 

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