Mark Watkins has been appointed head coach of the NBL1 Cobra Women’s team for the 2024 season.
Watkins brings a wealth of success and experience to the Cobra Women’s NBL1 program, having spent 11 years as a head and assistant coach in the NBL and a pair of FIBA World Championship stints as head coach of the Under 17 Australian Men’s team; highlighted by a silver medal finish in 2014.
While his head coaching resume is impressive in itself, Watkins is equally accomplished at building programs and developing elite level talent. Watkins – the Manager of Basketball Operations at Kilsyth – has shaped the Cobras into one of Australia’s top performing representative programs, with Kilsyth enjoying remarkable individual and team success at the junior and senior levels during his seven years at the helm.
The combination of elite level coaching and player development made Watkins the ideal candidate to lead the Cobra Women in 2024, with Kilsyth Basketball CEO Will van Poppel confident that Watkins’ leadership and success will translate to the senior Women’s program.
“We are delighted to announce the appointment of Mark as our NBL1 Women’s Coach,” van Poppel said.
“Mark brings his experience to the senior program in what has been a decorated coaching career in Australian programs, the NBL and VJBL. Mark has instilled a culture of work hard and winning to our Junior Cobras over the seven years he has been at the helm of the program.
“We will now build a strong team around Mark as we prepare for the 2024 NBL1 season. This is a an extremely exciting time for our NBL1 Cobra Women, as Mark will now see his hard work within the junior program come to fruition at the senior end.”
Set to lean on the foundations he has laid in the Junior Cobras program, Watkins is excited to showcase the Cobras style of play at the NBL1 level; and has his eyes set on early success, too.
“I am honoured to be selected as Head Coach of the Cobras NBL1 Women’s team, and am grateful to the Board for having faith in me to represent the club as this level again,” Watkins said.
“Seeing the great quality of players and teams in the NBL1, I am excited to coach the style of play that I have implemented in the junior program over the past seven years.
“I will be looking to develop our Cobras girls to build a team that can win a championship. Defence will be a key figure to our team’s success; and our style will be entertaining, exciting and up tempo, which showcases all the players skills.”
Defensive specialist Sarah Haberfield has re-signed with the Kilsyth Cobras for the 2024 NBL1 season. Haberfield was a solid contributor to the Cobras roster in 2023, starting in 20 of 22 regular season games and ranking amongst the team leaders in assists (2.1), steals (1.0) and rebounding (3.3). The SEBC Saints junior recorded a
Mitch Dielemans has re-signed with the Kilsyth Cobras for the 2024 NBL1 season. Dielemans enjoyed a strong 2023 NBL1 campaign with the Cobras, averaging a career-high 8.9 points per game to go along with 2.2 assists per game, shooting team-bests of 40.3% from three point range and 80.3% from the foul line. He recoded