By ROY WARD
WNBL champion Dandenong Rangers have made a major re-signing with star Jenna O’Hea agreeing to return for next season.
O’Hea, who is expected to start for the Opals at the London Olympics, joins Tegan Cunningham and teenage forward Sara Blicavs on next season’s roster. The Rangers are confident they will re-sign the rest of their core players in the coming weeks.
O’Hea is undergoing conditioning training with other Melbourne-based Opals before the team enters camp later this month.
She said there was little doubt she would return to Dandenong. “It took a while to sign the papers but there wasn’t any doubt I would return,” she said.
“The culture we finished the year with was something I really enjoyed and thrived on. We look like we will have lot of the same girls coming back plus the team is close to my home and so convenient to play for. I also have such a good working relationship with coach Mark Wright that I know he will understand how to manage me after the heavy workload leading into next season.”
Wright said O’Hea was a priority player for the Rangers to re-sign. “She is one of the cornerstones of our championship-winning team,” he said. “She brings a wealth of experience and her winning culture back to the Rangers.
“She is super professional and will be a great example to our younger players like Sara Blicavs. I am ecstatic that she is returning for another season.”
Bulleen Boomers, who lost to the Rangers in last season’s grand final, have signed Tess Madgen, Elyse Penaluna and Emma Randall.
■ Former Dandenong Rangers junior Anthony Drmic was named in the Australian Boomers squad for 2012 last week.
Drmic, who attends US college Boise State, was named in the Boomers 25-man squad from which the 12-man London Olympic side will be selected.
He shapes as an outsider for London but his selection shows he is a long-term candidate for future tournaments, especially the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.
Boomers coach Brett Brown added a few emerging stars like Drmic to learn from current stars like Brad Newley and Joe Ingles.
Former Frankston Blues juniors David Andersen and Ryan Broekhoff were also named in the squad.