Launceston Tornadoes to start process to expand coach's role

UNITED: Launceston Tornadoes stand together in the lead-up to their SEABL south conference final at Bendigo. Pictures: Craig Dilks
UNITED: Launceston Tornadoes stand together in the lead-up to their SEABL south conference final at Bendigo. Pictures: Craig Dilks

Launceston Tornadoes are set to enter a new era of professionalism, the SEABL club embarking to hire its first full-time, all-year coach.

The board had ratified a list of candidates at a convened meeting on Thursday night for the newly-created role.

“The sub-committee has made recommendations to the board in terms of candidates to interview,” club chair Janie Finlay confirmed.

“We will go through this process over the next week.”

The club is expecting to announce the appointment in seven to 10 days.

Richard Dickel reapplied for his position, but whether or not he reached the interview process is confidential. 

The incumbent 42-year-old, who replaced axed Ben Rush four weeks into the SEABL season, took the side to its south conference final.

ALL SMILES: Coach Richard Dickel holds up the club's pennant with captain Lauren Mansfield in its last game of the year at the south conference final.

ALL SMILES: Coach Richard Dickel holds up the club's pennant with captain Lauren Mansfield in its last game of the year at the south conference final.

The changing nature of the new job has ensured that the Tornadoes-appointed coaching sub-committee has attracted a far wider range of applicants than in past years.

“We’ve had a really strong field that included locals, [other] Australians and also internationals,” Finlay said.

The one-time financially stricken club have shored up its budget through a range of securing stronger sponsors and increased ticket sales.

But the Tornadoes have essentially now managed to employ a full-time coach out of season through earning a state government grant fund for the club’s continued hard work in Launceston schools.

Finlay felt the new role was a Tasmanian basketball first.

“There are clubs on the mainland that operate under a different structure, whether they might have a whole association with clubs or lots of players with their WNBL teams as well,” she said, “but in terms of other Tasmanian teams, I haven’t heard of this happening before.”