Separated by seven years in age they may be, but returning favourites Bec Abel and Olivia Chugg will both bring plenty of experience to the Launceston Tornadoes' 2020 NBL1 campaign.
The signings were announced this week as new head coach Sarah Veale focuses on developing a strong core group of local players to build for the club's future.
"The NBL1 competition is a very strong league with many WNBL, European and American players playing," Veale said.
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"It gets stronger each season and we need to be physically stronger to compete at a higher level for longer. Last season we were able to compete for a half or even three-quarters of a game but weren't able to finish off games against the bigger, stronger teams."
At just 20, Abel is one of the most experienced Tornadoes players with 51 appearances including all 20 games in the inaugural NBL1 season.
In a breakout season, the shooting guard averaged 9.9 points, 2.4 assists and 2.4 rebounds.
Her standout game was against the Eltham Wildcats where she scored 24 points including five three-pointers. She was one of the league's leading three-point shooters with 40 shots made from beyond the arc.
"I'm really looking forward to next season," Abel said. "I have some areas of my game I want to work on, including the defensive side and becoming more consistent."
Also returning is 120-game veteran Chugg (nee Howard). The 27-year-old forward last played for the Tornadoes in 2017, averaging 6.7 points per game, before taking time out to start a family.
"I am looking forward to getting back on the court and playing in front of the Tornadoes fans again, and especially my new son Harry for the first time," she said.
"Having two seasons off has made me really itchy to get back into it. I have been training extremely hard since early this year to get back into shape and I am feeling good about it.
"I was so pleased to see that Sarah was taking on the coaching role; I really admire her drive for the game and her commitment to the club (being a player in the 1995 championship team) and I am looking forward to playing for her."
Veale added: "We are pleased that both Bec and Olivia are returning next season. Both will offer experience on the court and will be leaders for our younger local players to follow."
The NBL1 season begins on April 18 with the Tornadoes' first home game on Saturday, April 25, against Ballarat Rush.
This will also be a double-header with the North West Thunder also playing at Elphin Stadium.
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