Staunton standing tall in 2015

By Stephen Leonard

AFTER leading Oblate Dynamos Women’s Basketball Team to the National League Division One title and the National Cup Final, Terry Staunton was declared The Echo 2015 Coach of the Year at last Thursday’s Sports Award Night in the Green Isle Hotel.

For so many seasons, Staunton has seen his team punch above their weight and provide a real source of inspiration for the rest of their community-based club.

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He has moulded together an impressive outfit, centred around a core of very experienced campaigners in the likes of Georgina McKenna who, this year, broke the strangle hold of Portlaoise to land the Division One title.

And what is even more encouraging for Staunton and the club is the fact that quite a number of the younger players have stepped up to the plate and maintained the momentum generated from last season.

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Indeed the Drimnagh side currently sits second in the table and has reached the National Cup semi finals for the fifth year running.

Recalling the moment it was announced that he was The Echo 2015 Coach of the Year, Staunton said “The overwhelming feeling I had was shock, but when it all started to sink in I felt very proud and privileged.

“I don’t do Facebook, but Oblate Dynamos to have a club Facebook page and there were so many messages coming through from players, some of whom have come and gone.

“They were saying it’s not just about this season and what we’ve achieved, but all the effort that’s been put in over those long winter nights. It was nice.

“There was a nice buzz on Sunday when we played Tralee. People were coming up to me congratulating me and it gave us that will boost” he added.

Almost halfway through a season that could prove just as special as the last, Staunton said “Doing so well last season has given the players that shot of confidence, particularly the younger players who have been in the shadow of the more senior players.

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“We have nine players who’ll be celebrating their 21sts in 2016 and they’ll have another 15 years or so playing at this level if they keep themselves fit.

“They’re a close knit bunch of players and I think they will stay together.

“And if we add a few players the likes of Katie Black, then this team should still keep doing well.

“Like Jennifer Morabito was brilliant for us last season and we wouldn’t have achieved all that we did without her.

“But now she’s gone and the team is still winning. They’re starting to believe in themselves” he insisted.

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