The SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks have been one of the most successful franchises over the past decade in the Sal's NBL - in short, they know what it takes to win!
After missing the 2020 Showdown, the anticipation across the deep south for the Sharks return to ILT Stadium Southland has the 'Orange Army' in a frenzy and opposition teams can expect a rousing reception when they come to visit.
When the Shark Tank is thumping there are few better places to be!
What's in store for the Sharks this season? Let's take a look.
SIT ZERO FEES SHARKS ROSTER
Coach: Rob Beveridge
Not only is Rob Beveridge the highest profile coach in the League this season, he also has a list of credentials and achievements to back it up. The Sharks originally had the Australian signed up for 2020, so to have him re-commit for 2021 (amidst Covid) is a great sign of his determination to come and do a great job for the Sharks. With an ability to get the absolute best out of players, Beveridge could be the star the Sharks are looking for in their quest for another championship.
Take a closer look at his 2019 stats and you’ll soon discover that Dom Kelman-Poto was one of the very best accumulators of stats for the minutes he played that year for the Sharks. He was arguably the sixth man of the year (not much of an argument to be fair). His ability to bring energy and make an impact is well noted, and again we got to see a lot of those same qualities at the 2020 Showdown when he pulled on the Bulls singlet, and at the 3X3 Schick Cup when he was back in orange late last year. Regardless of the role he is asked to play by Beveridge, the Sharks will be hoping DKP brings his usual x-factor, he is one of the very best when it comes to delivering the goods.
At 31 years of age, American guard Courtney Belger has 10 years behind him as a pro and the Sharks will be relying on that experience to help lead the team to success in 2021. Belger has played across the world and looks like being a perfect fit for the style Beveridge will be looking to implement. Look for Belger to play big minutes and form a dangerous 'veteran' partnership with Alonzo Burton. It's a combination that is set to catch most teams by surprise.
Bringing lots of new faces together always comes with an element of risk. Will this team gel? Will everyone fit the coach’s system? The biggest risk for the Sharks is the unknown, but that also comes with a touch of excitement too. If the Sharks can get their act together early in the season and learn to trust each other (and the system) then they appear certain to only get better as the season unfolds.
This is a franchise that knows how to win, and much of that success comes from making ILT Stadium Southland a fortress. It is one of the most daunting trips for teams, probably the toughest of all, and that right there is a reward the Sharks must hold onto tightly. The best reward for the Sharks is big, loud and proud crowds. Over to you Sharks fans!
THREE THINGS THAT MUST GO RIGHT
MEMBERSHIPS & TICKETS
The Sharks face a tough start with three road trips over the opening few rounds, including a taxing schedule against the Saints and Hawks within 24 hours. However, the run home is a huge plus with six of their last seven games at ILT Stadium Southland. Two key dates to circle are June 5 (a trip to Otago) and July 9 (a visit by the Nuggets) when the local rivalry is ignited once again with the 'Southern Stoush'!
Monday April 26 | 2:00pm | @ Giants
Thursday April 29 | 7:30pm | vs Airs
Friday May 7 | 7:30pm | @ Saints
Saturday May 8 | 7:30pm | @ Hawks
Friday May 14 | 7:30pm | @ Bulls
Sunday May 16 | 3:00pm | @ Huskies
Sunday May 23 | 5:00pm | vs Giants
Saturday May 29 | 7:30pm | @ Airs
Sunday May 30 | 5:00pm | @ Jets
Friday June 4 | 7:30pm | vs Saints
Saturday June 5 | 7:30pm | @ Nuggets
Friday June 11 | 7:30pm | vs Jets
Saturday June 19 | 7:30pm | vs Bulls
Saturday June 26 | 7:30pm | vs Huskies
Friday July 2 | 7:30pm | @ Rams
Sunday July 4 | 5:00pm | vs Hawks
Friday July 9 | 7:30pm | vs Nuggets
Thursday July 15 | 7:30pm | vs Rams