Worthington to Coach Subway Cairns Dolphins

 In QBL

Mark Worthington has signed as Head Coach of the Subway Cairns Dolphins in the 2016 women’s QBL competition.

The 307-game NBL veteran will spend his off-season in Cairns pacing the sidelines, and admits the move could flag a post-playing coaching career.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while and the opportunity arose, so I jumped at the chance,” Worthington said.

“It’s a first step and you have to start somewhere; I’m happy to have been given the opportunity this early.”

“It’s a great chance for me to try and find my niche as a coach, take all the stuff I’ve learned from the Dunlaps, Goorjians, Ansteys and McDonalds and roll it into one to see what I get.”

Worthington will also draw upon the vast national and international experience of former Australian Opal Jenny Evans, who joins the side as assistant coach.

Evans played 48 internationals as a senior, competing at the 1990 World Championships before claiming a State Championship with Cairns in 1994.

Even with this support, Worthington steps into the position as the fifth Dolphins coach in six years, and acknowledges that a likely young Dolphins outfit will have its challenges after missing QBL playoffs action last year.

But he says they will be nothing if not tenacious on the defensive end.

“Jenny and I will provide tools to help the team play with a good level of tenacity. We’re both huge on the defensive end and we’ll be looking for our team to be very defensive, but we’ll still have some fun at the other end,” he said.

“Obviously we want that sort of toughness, which I think is built over time so there will no doubt be some growing pains.”

One key to establishing the programme as a QBL leader will be a focus on junior pathways.

Worthington’s wife, Andrea, is coaching the Dolphins under-18 and under-23 squads, and the club will select five under-18 Dolphins from last season to the squad.

The Dolphins will also host open tryouts in a bid to build the strongest squad early in the pre-season.

“The more faces the merrier so we can build the best team possible,” Worthington said.

“We’re really excited at Cairns Basketball about the continued development of basketball by trying to bridge that gap between the under-18 age group and senior women’s team,” Worthington said.

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