Dynamos keen to generate success
Dubliners Black Forge Oblate Dynamos made a huge impression in their first season back in the IrishSport.TV Women's SuperLeague last season and their head coach Greg Petrovich is desperate for that to continue next term.
Dynamos earned their place in the top flight by virtue of their Division 1 title success last year and early signs in the season indicated they were not going to be cannon fodder for some of the league's big guns.
They reach the semi-finals of the league, before suffering defeat to eventual winners UL, who boasted the likes of Rachel Vanderwal (Great Britain), Natalie Taylor (New Zealand) and Michelle Fahy (Ireland) in their ranks.
Dynamos' story began in 1983 and consisted of one men's team and two women's teams. Now, the club has produced six underage girls' teams, four underage boys' teams, while at senior level, two women's and one men's team are currently in operation.
Their current success can be traced back to their underage national cup success in 2004, when they accounted for Glanmire. Their development hasn't gone unnoticed by the governing body of the sport, Basketball Ireland, who gave the club the deserved tag of 'club of the year' in 1986 and 2001.
Petrovich believes the side have been making tremendous strides and he is hoping for another glorious chapter to be written in the club's history next term.
"Our senior ladies team first entered the Irish Women's SuperLeague in 1991 and played at the highest level for three seasons," said Petrovich. "We returned to the SuperLeague in 2001 and played a further three seasons against the best teams in the country. That season we dropped down to National League Division 1, the second tier of Irish basketball.
"We reached the Division 1 final in 2008, losing narrowly to Donoughmore. In the season 2009-2010 I arrived at the club as coach of the National League team. That year we came runner-up in the National Cup against St Paul's from Killarney, but bounced back to win the league final and gain promotion. None of this would be possible without the likes of our club president Fr Carolan, Terry Staunton and, of course, Gerry and Michelle Farrell.
"We like to think that we are a real club, in the true sense of the word. For us, the social side of Oblate Basketball Club is almost as important as the basketball. We take pride in the great memories and strong friendships we have formed down the years."
Meanwhile, the Irish U16 girls' team had their first taste of international competition when they visited Luxembourg last weekend.
Despite suffering defeats in all three games, the girls learned a lot from the trip and realised the standard they must achieve to compete at his level. The girls also showed good improvement over the weekend and the trip proved excellent for team bonding.