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Bendigo finds new Spirit as Kereama appointed coach

ONE-time New Zealand national women's coach Kennedy Kereama, more recently an assistant at Canberra Capitals, Melbourne Boomers and Dandenong Rangers, is the new head coach of two-time WNBL champion Bendigo Spirit as the club goes through a comprehensive revamp.

The Spirit's new owners, Sports Entertainment Network (SEN) are rapt to have a coach of Kereama's experience at the helm and to have league MVP Anneli Maley returning for the 2022-23 WNBL season.

Apart from his recent assisting stints, Kereama also held the reins of the West Coast Waves (now Perth Lynx) as head coach from 2012 to 2015.

He had the head coach role of the New Zealand national women's team, the Tall Ferns, from 2010-2017, that position now filled by Melbourne Boomers championship-winning coach Guy Molloy. 

Former Adelaide Lightning coach and back-to-back Townsville Fire championship-winning coach Chris Lucas has succeeded Molloy at Melbourne, with Lucas' assistant coach of the past two seasons, Natalie Hurst, inheriting the Lightning head coach role.

Kereama said he is excited to take on the new challenge.

“I feel incredibly privileged to be the selected candidate to lead this program into the future,” the 15-year coaching veteran said.

“I look forward to helping the team become consistent championship contenders and I’m excited by the playing group which has some real star factor.

“Additionally, I’m very eager to engage with the Bendigo community and regional Victoria to grow our program.”

Kereama succeeds Tracy York who held the reins for three years compiling a 12-38 win-loss record for a 24 per cent success rate, including a 0-13 "hub" season.

“I am really appreciative of the opportunity to work with the new SEN ownership group and to be based out here at Bendigo at the Red Energy Arena,” Kereama said.

“What attracted me to the role the most was the opportunity to come in and work with such outstanding athletes.

“Reigning MVP Anneli Maley will be fresh off WNBA experience with the Chicago Sky and her ability to rebound will be crucial to our team.”

May 24

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