Stawell Wildcats are progressing through the stages of coming out of recession with flying colours.
In a whirlwind few weeks, the club has a new committee appointed and has announced a new senior coach.
Former player Matthew Bourke has been named as chairman of Stawell Wildcats Basketball Association and will be assisted by Aidan Marr as vice-president.
Alistair Beard has accepted the role as the senior coach for the CBL 2019-20 season.
"I was approached by Aidan Marr and Troy Kenny to see if I would be interested in coming to Stawell to take on the coaching role," he said.
"When I heard their plight on wanting to work with a group of dedicated people to re-start basketball in Stawell I jumped at the chance.
"I coach a senior A Grade team in Ballarat and also juniors. I know the importance of including juniors within the sport and making the club a family-friendly atmosphere."
Growing up in a small town, Beard said he wasn't deterred by the travel, travelling all his junior sporting career to play the sport he loved.
"I grew up in Cobden," he said.
"So any sport I wanted to play at a higher level I had to travel. I started playing men's basketball at the age of 13 in Warrnambool so started travelling for sport.
"Before I injured myself and stopped playing basketball, I was travelling to Geelong every Thursday night to coach and play.
"I guess it's all part and parcel of what I do and I think it can work in my favour. If players see I am committed and putting in the time and effort to travel then so can they."
Kenny has signed on as an assistant coach to help Beard throughout the season.
"We will host our first try-out session on Sunday from noon onwards," he said.
"I'm hoping to get as many players there as I can. I'm new to the area and basketball in the area so it's an advantage. Players will be rewarded on effort and development.
"I don't look at this appointment as a one-season thing. We're re-starting a club.
"There are no expectations to go out and finish in the top two, if it happens then we'll take it but it's about growing the club from the ground up again once more."
A focus for Beard and the executive committee is the re-introduction of juniors and development programs with Stawell.
"Nothing beats homegrown talent," Beard said.
"There's a couple of young kids around who need some coaching refinements and they could be the ones who lead Stawell Wildcats into the future.
"As a coach, the only reward you really want to see is player development. If everyone is going out there and doing their bit and improving each and every week, that's all the matters in the long run, that's how you build success within clubs."
Chairman: Matt Bourke
Vice-Chairman: Aidan Marr
Secretary: Troy Kenny
Treasurer: Wayne Watson
General Committee: Joel Freeland (returning), Alistair Beard, Jess McMahon.
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