HIS coaching fate decided, Simon Pritchard is eager to end his tenure at Bendigo Spirit on a high.
The Spirit will round out their 2018-19 WNBL season against a pair of teams, which will be contending for the championship crown in the Adelaide Lightning (fourth) and Canberra Capitals (top).
It’s a tough closure to a season, which started so promisingly at 5-2, but has produced just two more victories in 12 games.
That record could easily have read more favourably if not for a few narrow losses, including a pair of overtime losses to the Townsville Fire and Melbourne Boomers and last weekend’s two-point defeat against Perth Lynx.
As the search for a new coach goes on around him, Pritchard said he had never considered not seeing out the remainder of his contract.
“I’ve known for a little while it was likely to happen (not having his contract renewed), but it doesn’t change the way I operate,” he said.
“I have huge sense of pride I the way I go about my work – that won’t change one bit.
“I’ve been doing this (coaching) for so long, and I have a process I go through, I make sure I am professional in the way I go about it.
“For me, (coaching the last two games) is about putting a full-stop on the end of the season and getting the best out of the girls for the last couple of games.
“Given we are playing two of the favourites for the championship it’s going to be tough, but as you saw (on Sunday), the girls’ efforts against a team like Perth, who are in finals, we are right amongst in terms of battling and punching above our weight.”
The Spirit head into this Thursday’s night game against the Lightning with a 4-4 home record and with the edger between the two sides sitting at one win apiece.
The @BendigoSpirit will look for a new coach with Simon Pritchard to end his time at the club after #WNBL19 - well done to Simon on handling a very difficult job. He remains very open and easy to deal with, that matters a lot in this league. https://t.co/gRI8cYIMh5— Roy Ward (@rpjward) January 7, 2019
“Adelaide is a team we played well against last time, (but) they have a lot of momentum. I think Adelaide and Canberra are the two form teams of the WNBL,” he said.
“For us it’s about our girls testing themselves against the best in the league (and) finding out whether if we are at that level.
“If we are that’s very promising for next year.”
Simon Pritchard not coaching next season and Cheryl Chambers moving back to Melbourne hmmm @WNBL interesting announcements before end of season .. enter @kristiharrower ..and I’d be very nervous if I was another coach #whywouldntyouwaitwithtworoundsleft— Michele Timms (@michele_timms) January 7, 2019
Tip-off on Thursday night at Bendigo Stadium is 7pm.
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