Four Kilsyth Juniors will not be joining the Lady Cobras in 2018, with Jordyn O’Shea, Emily van Poppel, Brittany Renton and Caragh Spicer stepping away from the team for the upcoming SEABL season.
After reaching the 200 SEABL game milestone this year, Jordyn O’Shea will take a much deserved break in 2018 on the heels of her best statistical season to date. The incumbent Lady Cobras captain posted career-highs in three point shooting and assists in 2017, helping guide the Lady Cobras to the league’s top regular season record for a second consecutive season.
“I’ve loved my time at Kilsyth and have been very lucky to play alongside some quality players and some even better people,” O’Shea said about her time with the Lady Cobras.
“The last few years we’ve had some great success, but unfortunately fell one game short each time. As a junior I would never have imagined that I would have the opportunity to captain the Women’s team and be involved in a few conference championships, so I’m super lucky and grateful to have experienced that.”
Though she will step away for the season ahead, O’Shea is not ruling out a return in the future, but for now she is focused on an exciting, travel-centred 2018.
“I wouldn’t say I’m retiring, as it’s hard to say if I’ll miss basketball or love all the free time (laughs) so that’s something I’ll worry about later on and just make the most of this free time while I’ve got it,” O’Shea said.
“I’m still not sure what comes next, but I’m hoping to squeeze in a bit of travel. I’ve got a trip to the Philippines booked for March and then back home to save, save, save and hopefully tick a few more destinations off the growing list later in the year.”
Emily van Poppel will step aside for the season ahead to focus on her studies, where the guard is completing a Bachelor of Psychology at RMIT. The 116 game veteran was a key member of the Lady Cobras back-to-back South Conference championship-winning teams in 2015 and 2016, serving as an assistant coach during the team’s 2015 run as she recovered from ACL surgery.
Opting to take the upcoming season off was no easy decision for van Poppel, who has been extremely grateful for her time with the Lady Cobras.
“I’ve had a great time over the years playing for Kilsyth and have made some lifelong friends,” van Poppel said.
“It’s been so great to play with such an amazing bunch of girls through the years and receive great support from the Kilsyth community, and I’m sure I will miss it next year. I’m wishing the girls all the best for next season and I’m sure I’ll be down to watch a few games.”
Leaving the Lady Cobras early in 2017, Brittany Renton has also opted to skip the upcoming season as she continues to grow her new business. A 75-game SEABL veteran, Renton provided the Lady Cobras with a solid front court presence, doing an outstanding job of backing-up the likes of imports Angela Beadle and Cassie Sant, and 2016 Defensive Player of the Year Emily Fryters.
Renton left the team after just seven games in 2017 due to an increase in work commitments, with the centre recently opening up the Acai Brothers health food store in Croydon alongside her mother, Bernie. And though she wont take to the court with the Lady Cobras in the new year, Renton, like O’Shea, has not ruled out a return in the future.
“I recently started up a business – Acai Brothers Croydon – and will be spending the next year focusing on growing the business,” Renton said.
“I’ve been very lucky to be a part of the Kilsyth Basketball community for the last ten-plus years, and I’ve got many great memories, achievements and friendships that will always be treasured. Hopefully it’s not the end, though, and I can return to the court one day.”
Caragh Spicer will step away from the team in 2018 as she transitions into an exciting next stage of her life – motherhood. While the Lady Cobras will be gearing up for the new season in early 2018, Spicer will be preparing for a new family arrival, as she is expecting her first child with partner, Paul, in March.
Having also played a role in the Lady Cobras remarkable three year span, Spicer is both proud and thankful for her time at Kilsyth, ending a lengthy career spanning close to two decades at the representative level.
“It will be a big adjustment after being a part of representative basketball for over 16 years, but I’m very excited for the future as I’m going to be welcoming our first baby into the world as of early March next year,” Spicer said.
“Some of the best years of my life were spent playing with Kilsyth as a junior and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to finish off the last few years of my basketball career with the club I grew up with. I’ve been so lucky to be involved with the SEABL Women’s team, not only because I’ve made life long friendships but to also be a part of some of the incredible achievements we made as a group over the years.”
“Its been a pleasure being involved in such a great community and I’ll definitely miss the familiar faces you get to see every week, but I’ll still be around cheering from the sidelines.”
While they played a key role in helping establish the Lady Cobras as a SEABL powerhouse, the contributions from O’Shea, van Poppel, Renton and Spicer off the court have been just impressive, with the quartet always carrying themselves with exceptional professionalism whilst working closely with our future generation of players. We would like to wish Jordyn, Emily, Brittany and Caragh well on their endeavours in 2018 and thank them for their lengthy and dedicated service to Kilsyth Basketball.
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