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Warriors Preparing for a Championship Tilt

Posted: 07-Dec-2011 by Maccabi VIC

by Ashley Shenker

Maccabi Basketball will welcome former Warriors coach Andrew Solewicz and star player Dean Rzechta to the side for next year’s season in a bid to snap its championship drought.
“I’ve gone away for two years to give the players and myself a fresh start,” Solewicz told the AJN.

“But I’m back now because I see a lot of talent at Maccabi, and we’re going to win next year, not set up development for five year’s time.”

Solewicz has had an extremely successful couple of years away from the club, having won the Big V Division 2 Coach of the Year award two years running in his time with McKinnon and Cranbourne.

“It was great to be noticed, and it was really surprising to win, especially for the first time. A lot of credit must go to the players, but definitely a great achievement,” he said.

Solewicz is bringing with him the likes of Rzechta and Mornington player, Jeff Devers, who he said are back to “win games and prepare themselves for Israel (Maccabiah in 2013)”.

“Dean is a star player and will play a strong role in the side, but there are many others that will play roles as well. And that’s what you need, a good balance between star players and role players.”

But Solewicz has also targeted many young guns from the junior leagues to develop into regular senior playes as well. “Ori Handelsman is one I have approached from Waverley who will be a great addition to the team, as well as Johnathon Polonsky from Waverley too.”

These two will join youngster Benji Tamir at Maccabi. Tamir was one of the youngest players to win the MVP award, doing so last season, as well as narrowly missing out on being named the Big V’s Youth Player of the Year.

“Benji is a star, but he has a lot of improvement still, as he has only played since he was 16, so he hasn’t really had a lot of time to develop. Dean will help him improve his game, but there will also be a lesser work rate for him than last year with better players around, “Solewicz said.

Solewicz said he is looking to improve on last year’s effort of only four wins for the entire season.

“I’m back to change the mindset of the players from wanting to be competitive to actually wanting to win.”

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