Jets building physical brand

Chloe Hildebrand (Ljubica Vrankovic) 339856_17

An up tempo and physical brand of basketball is the focus for the Sunbury Jets this season in Big V state championship women’s division.

In her eighth year at the club and in her first as coach, Monique Caparello (nee Stevens) said she’s been inviting players from the men’s squad to train with her team to help them practice their physicality.

“I’ve gone for a different style of play [compared to last year], being a past player myself, I’ve taken a little from every coach I’ve played under,” she said.

“The effort and energy at training has been second to none.

“I was driving home from training recently just beaming from the quality of the scrimmage.”

The Jets will be hoping that hard work can translate to the season.

They just missed out on finals last season after finishing the season with seven wins and 14 losses, which included a four game win streak to close things out.

But Caparello’s side will be without two of their marquee players from last season.

In 2023, Ida Maria Andersson was the Jets most productive scorer, averaging 14 points per game as well as three assists.

Anderson has left the Jets to pursue an opportunity with the Woodville Warriors in National Basketball League 1 competition.

Dimitri Gkizani, who averaged 13 points, nine rebounds and a block per game last year, has also left the club to play in Greece.

“It’s a very Sunbury-based team,” she said.

“We may not be the most talented, but I think we will surprise a lot of teams with our buy-in.”

Caparello said she’s been impressed by locals Chloe and Abby Hildberand, who have both stepped up in a leadership capacity over the pre-season.

She flagged also that the club would be announcing additional signings before the season starts.

Caparello has had to put in a lot of hard work since being appointed coach in January, replacing Simon Nicholson. She was set to be an assistant coach this season.

The Jets will take on McKinnon in round one on April 6 at the Glen Eira Sports and Aquatic Centre in their season opener.

McKinnon finished just ahead of the Jets last season in fourth place.

The Jets men’s side also kicks off their season on the same night against McKinnon in the later game.

The Jets will be celebrating the 50 year anniversary of the club all season long.