The off-season hard work and planning continues at the SKYCITY Breakers as the club prepares for the 2017/18 Australian National Basketball League season.
With seven players (click here to see) already contracted to return to the Club for the new campaign, Head Coach Paul Henare has for some weeks been in a strong position in regards the talent being assembled to take on the best the Aussies can muster.
But the recruitment and planning is not restricted to the players, the off-court team is also undergoing some change and with it comes the departure of much admired and respected fitness trainer Steve Buckley.
With a change in the way the overall health of players is managed throughout the campaign, comes news that Steve has decided against applying for the new role of Health Manager, something he reluctantly decided was not for him.
“I just couldn’t commit to what is now essentially a fulltime role with the team during the season. I am building up my clients as a personal trainer now at Les Mills and want to continue to grow that side of the business. I love this club and the work with the players and coaches, it was a tough decision not to interview, but after seven great years the time is right to do something fresh and new.”
That fresh and new will be to build his personal training business at Les Mills, something he will continue to do under his Force x Velocity business (FxV). Buckley rents space at Victoria Park Les Mills and will look to further expand on his growing client list.
Steve has been with the club since 2010 and has seen the club go from under-achievers to perennial championship winners or contenders, playing his part in all four of the championship banners earned and in the process establishing his own business, Force x Velocity.
“Four championships are a real highlight – each of them a bit different. I had my first championship in the first year with the club, so in a way I didn’t realise how hard it was to get there! That was the first year that I trained Pauli and Dillon who were both in the team, it is kind of cool to see that change with both of them now in different roles.
“The team aspect has been cool, in particular the culture that the Breakers have, that has been something to learn from. They have been a great group of guys, on and off the floor. It made my job a lot easier to know that they were all on the same page and sharing that commitment.”
“The players have been a huge part of my day to day life, I work with the coaches of course, but it is the players that I have come to know the best. They have all been great and I will miss that day to day involvement the most.”
Head Coach Paul Henare had nothing but praise for Steve’s contribution to the club, working with him as a player, assistant coach, and now head coach.
“I first worked with Steve as a player when he came on board in 2010. Since then he’s become a huge part of our success and has become a well-respected and cherished member of our family. Although his time with the Club has come to an end, he will always be one of our own. We wish him all the best for his future endeavours.”
The Breakers will announce the new Health Manager in the weeks ahead.
Meanwhile Henare continues to watch the New Zealand NBL closely as players look to impress and earn a playing contract for the upcoming season, with a likely two roster spots available to local players, plus up to three development players.
Those decisions and any import announcements will not be rushed however, with Henare likely to wait until after the New Zealand Select tour to China in late June for the New Zealand players, while the imports will be the final pieces added to the 2017/18 roster jigsaw.
Click here to see how our team is shaping up!