BRAD COLE THE ADVOCATE The North-West Thunder’s playing stocks have received an unexpected boost ahead of the 2020 NBL1 season, with Joe Chilcott coming back to the fold. Chilcott, who captained the side last year, was believed to be focusing his weekend commitments on football this year, but has had a change of heart and will add to his current tally of 133 games.
He returns to a new-look Thunder line-up that so far only has three other members from the 2019 squad that finished 14th with a 8-12 record. Two of those new faces this season include former players Brad Simpson and Mason Bragg, both whom Chilcott has enjoyed plenty of success with at both the Thunder and NWBU club Burnie. The 23-year-old averaged 9.7 points and 3.1 rebounds in his 18 games last year, 14 of which he started.
In off-court news, the club has recognised one of its most substantial contributors by renaming its MVP award the Allen Hansen Medal. Hansen has been a significant supporter of the Thunder program since his arrival in Tasmania, with his generosity in terms of sponsorship through Tasmanian Seafoods helping the club remain sustainable over a number of years.
The move was decided upon at the club’s last board meeting and will be presented at the end of season function that usually follows the final game of the campaign. “Allen’s contribution has been immense, and from a Thunder point of view he has been a regular attendee at our games up until recent years when his health has declined,” club chairman Tony Barker said.
The Thunder open their season in the NBL1 South conference away to Albury-Wodonga on April 18.