HE has one of the best Bathurst Goldminers men's State League Basketball rosters he has seen in some time, but coach Matt Chapman is not sure if they will get to play in 2020.
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Prior to sporting competitions across the country being put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, Chapman had assemble a strong squad which was entered in the Basketball NSW Waratah League men's competition.
It was a squad he felt would impress in what would be the Goldminers' first appearance in a senior men's league since 2016.
"It's a bit of a mixed group, a couple of boys from Lithgow and a couple of boys from Orange, but everyone got along real well, so I think it will go good," Chapman said.
"Most of the guys that are going to play for Bathurst have played for Bathurst previously. I think the only new player really is Fletcher Swift from Lithgow.
"Michael Cox played for us before, he's back from Lithgow and Andrew Manios played for Orange last year and is back and then there's the other guys who have come across from Orange, Kobe Mansell and Zak Simons.
"There are a couple of younger ones there too which I've put in the squad and they'll definitely get a run. They showed up to training and trained pretty hard and were impressive, so they'll definitely get some minutes if we go ahead.
"It's as good, if not better, than any side I've seen play for Bathurst in a few years. So it is exciting and I think we'll go well."
As it currently stands, all Basketball NSW competitions are suspended until at least June 29 while Bathurst's Indoor Stadium - the Goldminers' home venue - is closed.
An exact return to play date has not been set and Chapman knows any decision on a 2020 competition hinges on a further relaxation of social distancing laws.
Still, the coach is hopeful his Goldminers get the chance to show what he believes they are capable of.
"To be 100 percent honest I guess I don't know if it's going to happen this year at all. I've been told a couple of different things and it keeps changing, we've just got to stay as ready as we can," Chapman said.
"I've been on to the boys about staying fit, training indoors is not allowed which is a bit frustrating. It's frustrating you can train 10 blokes at a time outside, but inside you can't.
"All the boys are still keen and if we're good to go, then we're good to go. We'll see what happens I guess.
"Everyone I've spoken to, they're really champing at the bit to play. I think if anything people are going to be more keen, because we've all been locked up we'll be keen to get out and have a run."
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As for what sort of format the draw will take if season 2020 goes ahead, there is more uncertainty.
Chapman anticipates there could be more double-headers and possibly central venues.
"It's going to be interesting if it gets on to see how they run it. It's obviously going to be a shortened season, I just don't know how they are going to get around it," he said.
"They might even do some central venue rounds or something like that which I'd find quite enjoyable anyway.
"But at the end of the day I'd rather play a shortened season than nothing at all."
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