Dawn has sprung on Christmas Day 2019 and with it comes the opening of gifts, but what is the one present your Sal's NBL team would love to unwrap today?
Let's see if we can find your team the perfect present!
Would love to be unwrapping a back-to-back championship.
Midway through the third quarter of the 2019 championship decider against the Hawks everyone at Horncastle Arena was preparing for the unthinkable ...... the 19-0 Saints were headed for their first loss of the season ..... 15 minutes later an appreciative crowd stood and applauded a 10pt win to the 20-0 Saints. Now, as we prepare to enter 2020, that one special gift the Saints want to be unwrapping is another championship.
Would love to be unwrapping a 2020 Grand Final win against the Saints.
There is no denying that the rivalry between the league's two most successful teams over the last seven seasons is intense - the Saints have won four titles, the Sharks have taken three. And if there is one thing better for the Sharks than winning a championship, it would be doing it against the Saints. With a pre-Christmas recruiting spree that has already landed Hyrum Harris, Dom Kelman-Poto, Jarrad Weeks, Dane Brooks and Tom Vodanovich, the Sharks look well placed to start the season as a key team to watch.
Would love to be unwrapping three red-hot imports.
The Giants are thought to be working hard behind the scenes to land three top line imports to support their emerging youngsters. Few will argue Nelson's ongoing ability to develop fantastic young talent and we are expecting to see a number of these players take their next steps in 2020, but the supporting imports will be vital to success for the Giants. Expect lots of player news in the new year.
HAWKE'S BAY HAWKS
Would love to be unwrapping a 'Go One Better' token.
After coming oh so close in 2019, and at one stage during the third period of the championship game looking like causing the upset of the season, the Hawks fell short by 10pts in the grand final against the Saints. The best gift the Hawks would like to unwrap is to go one better and claim the top prize in 2020. Yet to announce any player signings, you can expect to see plenty of activity as the new year rolls in.
Would love to be unwrapping a shot at finals.
The Jets had an inconsistent 2019, often pushing some of the very best teams, but all too often coming up short. At times the Jets proved a real handful, but at other times they just couldn't fire a shot. With no player signings announced just yet, the Jets will be hoping to land some quality imports to lead the way, while some emerging youngsters look set to grab good minutes. If the ingredients blend well together, perhaps a shot at the finals isn't completely out of the question.
Would love to be unwrapping a finals berth.
A top-four finish in year one would be a dream come true for the league's newest outfit. The Bulls are raring to get out there and have already made some noise with the signing of Liam Simmons (coach) and Leon Henry, but plenty more names are on the horizon. If the Bulls can lead their fans to finals in 2020 it will be a huge achievement.
Would love to be unwrapping some firepower.
The Rams bowed out in the semi-finals in 2019, but they won lots of admirers along the way, especially for their superior defence. If Mick Downer's team can hold that same defensive work ethic and add some real offensive firepower, they could well be the team to beat in 2020. A 25pt per game recruit, or two, would make the Rams a formidable unit.
Would love to be unwrapping some consistent wins.
The Airs have a new coach (Willie Banks) and, pardon the pun, an air of expectation, as they set about trying to jump up the ladder. Season 2019 was a tough one and while at times we saw plenty of good things, the Airs just couldn't deliver consistently. Some good imports who will stay the journey would help, but above all stringing consistent wins together would be a great way to move forward in 2020.