Jane Chalmers and Tahnee Cannan to lead Bendigo Lady Braves in 2017 SEABL season


LONG-SERVING guard Jane Chalmers and rising star Tahnee Cannan have been appointed joint captains of the Bendigo Lady Braves.

Chalmers, who reached 300 SEABL games last season, and Cannan replace star point guard Kelly Wilson, who is not playing in the league this season.

Since debuting in 2004, Chalmers has been one of the Lady Braves most consistent performers.

The Echuca-based player averaged 8.5 points, four rebounds and 3.2 assists last season as the Lady Braves made it to the playoffs for the 10th consecutive season.

Statistically her best season was in 2008, when she shot 44 per cent from the three-point line for 9.4 points per game, a year after the Lady Braves repeated as SEABL champions.

Cannan is in her seventh season with the Lady Braves, but played only a handful of matches in her first four years.

She played a career-high 18 games last season.

Lady Braves coach Jonathon Goodman said Chalmers was itching to go after missing the second half of the Bendigo Spirit's WNBL season with a thumb injury.

"Jayno just leads by example and is a 300-game veteran for our club," he said.

"Having been injured  during the WNBL season, she's been at practice with her thumb in a sling, but touch wood she will be right to go round one.

"Everyone knows what she's like, she'll be jumping out of the blocks and has been itching to get on court."

Goodman said Cannan had really stepped-up in the off-season to become a great mentor to the Lady Braves band of talented youngsters.

That included taking on an assistant coaching role with the junior Braves under-16 girls team which was crowned Victorian country champions last month.

Chalmers and Cannan will lead a new look team, missing two of last years stars in Wilson and Keely Froling, but bolstered by the inclusion of Dandenong Rangers WNBL youngster Chloe Bibby, former Canberra Capitals Academy guard Carlie Smith and  US college graduate Bianca Dufelmeier.

Two overseas imports will be added to the mix shortly.

Bibby, an Australian junior representative, who has signed to play US college ball with Mississippi State at the end of the SEABL season, is currently involved in the Rangers' WNBL grand final series against the Sydney Uni Flames.

While Goodman does not anticipate having his full squad available until about round three, he said he was genuinely excited about what his group could achieve on the floor.

He said the Lady Braves had gained a good shooter and defender in Smith, who would alternate between the small and power forward positions.

"She's already show she can compete and is young. We are really hoping to keep her around the club for a long time," he said.

"And Bianca has really quickly established herself as a great communicator and leader.

"There has already been some fantastic feedback from the group about what she brings.

"We've seen her highlight reel and how well she shoots and she showed that in practice the other night.

"It will be great for her to come into the group and play some significant minutes."