When those involved speak about the Bendigo Bank Spirit’s success this season there’s a regular theme – how close the team is.
No two people at the club are better placed to judge that than Jane Chalmers and Andrea Wilson.
The veteran WNBL campaigners have been with the Spirit since its very first match in 2007-08.
Sunday’s grand final against Townsville at Bendigo Stadium will be a landmark occasion in both their careers, not least because they can share it with their team-mates.
“It certainly would be a special occasion to win it. With the team we’ve got this year it would be even better,” Chalmers said.
“There’s no friction anywhere, everyone just goes out and plays for the team.”
Wilson has seen highs and lows at the Spirit and admitted to uncertainty about the club’s future after last season’s financial crisis.
The turnaround since then has been spectacular – a 21-3 regular season with the Spirit on top of the ladder from round one.
“I’m not sure I could pinpoint specifically what the difference has been, it’s a great group of girls and we’re all gelling together at the right time of the year,” Wilson said.
“I’ve been around most of these girls quite a while so it will be a special moment if we do get across the line this weekend.”
One of Spirit coach Bernie Harrower’s favourite sayings is that he values a superstar team over a team of superstars.
Chalmers and Wilson have both helped Bendigo become a superstar team.