Bree’s ‘bittersweet’ move ends strong Ipswich team links
HIGHLY regarded former Ipswich Force captain Bree Farley concedes she has mixed emotions leaving a basketball team with such a wonderful culture.
However, switching to South West Metro for the fast-approaching Queensland State League (QSL) season highlighted another measure of her loyalty.
"I have nothing but good feelings towards my team in Ipswich,'' the former national league player said after five seasons reaching Queensland Basketball League playoffs with Ipswich.
"It's bittersweet leaving because we had a great team with great chemistry.''
However, the opportunity to continue working with former Force head coach Brad George and his wife Marney was too strong to ignore, especially with the QSL organised at relative short notice due to the coronavirus.
"I certainly love and respect my old team but I certainly have my loyalty,'' Farley, 29, said.
"It was just time for a change and having that loyalty towards Brad and Marney who treated me extremely well and I really appreciate his coaching as well.''
Since returning from a stint in Portugal, Farley has worked with Brad at QBL and Women's NBL level when he was assistant coach of the South East Queensland Stars in 2015.
Marney is a former Force captain, who joined Brad in helping Ipswich teams qualify for state league finals.
After growing up in the country town of Kadina in South Australia, Farley spent time at the Australian Institute of Sport before venturing to California in 2010 for a four-year stint in American College basketball.
Before joining Force in 2015, she also spent four months playing for GDESSA Barriero in Portugal.
Having given tremendous service to Ipswich, Farley hopes to make a valuable contribution to South West Metro.
"From my point of view, going into a new club I'm certainly not expecting to be any kind of leader,'' she said.
"I've got a bit of experience I guess in the league . . . I'm just hoping that my experience in itself can help in any way.''
Farley will meet her former Ipswich side in round three of the QSL on August 22 at Hibiscus Stadium.
That will be the match of the round being livestreamed on this Queensland Times website.
A weekly QSL match of the round will be livestreamed when the competition starts on August 8.
While yet to see exactly what players the QSL clubs field, she was excited to have a quality competition to enjoy after the new NBL1 North competition was delayed a year.
"It will certainly give local players a really good chance to play in a good strong competition,'' she said.
"Even without imports, we've got a lot of good local basketballers. It gives them a bit of a chance to shine and certainly for the younger ones to step up in a good strong league.''
She was pleased to hear major QSL matches would be livestreamed, providing valuable exposure for basketball and especially up and coming players.
"This whole year has been unique and challenging for everybody so the fact that we get to play any kind of basketball in any form of competition is really positive,'' she said.
"It will just give us a good competition getting ready for next year's North and South comp.''
Ipswich basketball stalwart Terry Lindeberg has taken over the Force women's head coaching role.
He has retained a core of last year's state league side with some exciting junior talent.
Senior players include Amy Lewis, Georgia Ralph and Rachel Mate.
Among the talented Ipswich Force players to watch are Catherine MacGregor, Kate Head, Grace Hughes and Charlotte Hegvold, who recently was offered a US college scholarship with Weber State University.
Look out for regular QSL coverage and livestreaming details in coming days.