New leaders hope to tear up competition

THE Launceston Tornadoes are hoping a leadership team made up of local talent will lead them to success in the upcoming SEABL season.

The club yesterday announced  veteran player Alicia Riley will take on the captaincy and assistant coach's role, with Emma Russell and Olivia Howard supporting as vice-captains.

It will be the 32-year-old Riley's 10th season with the Tornadoes after starting with the club as a 19-year-old.

She has previously served as club vice-captain and took time off after the birth of her twin daughters, Ami and Elli.

``I'm excited about becoming captain this season and I want to help mould our two vice-captains into future captains,'' she said.

``It's something I have aspired to do and I wish it had come earlier in my career.

``I've helped back at the club for the past couple of seasons but I've not been a senior, full-time Tornado again until this year and now I'm privileged to have the role.''

Riley said the Tornadoes' prospects for the upcoming season were good and she believed the local talent and three interstate recruits would see the club have a more successful year than last, when it won just one game.

``We only had the one import last year and this year we have recruited three girls, which will help us compete, and our young players have had some good exposure to the game,'' she said.

``We've created a great culture to be a part of and that is what we want to bring back so kids and young people will want to step up and be part of the program.

``[Coach] Peta [Sinclair] has done very well and has people wanting to be part of it and inject into it.''

The Legana hairdresser said her daughters, who are now 6, played their first games of basketball this week.

``I am looking forward to retiring as a player at the end of the season and then going into coaching,'' she said.

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