New role for Ellen
Less than a month after the dust settled on a wonderful 18th edition of the Bowls Premier League (BPL), the teams for BPL19 in Moama have been submitted with four playing changes incoming for February’s competition, as well as a history making coaching move.
The Moreton Bay Pirates headline the swaps, with Dawn Hayman making her way into the team in place of Jo Edwards.
Former coach Ryan Burnett also comes in to make his playing debut at the event, coming in for Chris Rosanes.
Burnett has enjoyed stints at the helm of the Pirates and formerly the Moama Steamers but will play an on green role in February alongside Hayman and Alex Marshall MBE.
The vacated coaching position at the Pirates will be filled by former player, Ellen Falkner MBE, who becomes the third female in the tournament’s history to take charge of a franchise after Therese Hastings the late Faye Luke.
Moreton Bay will be looking to rectify a drop at home last month, with the team failing to make the finals for the first time since BPL12.
A team that joined them outside the top five were the Sydney Lions who lose Hayman but regain the services of four-time champion Karen Murphy AM to team up with Aaron Wilson and Ben Twist under coach Steve Glasson OAM.
After being in pole position for a finals berth at Pine Rivers, the event ended in heartbreak for the Tasmania Tridents, finishing in eighth spot just a win outside of a place in the Friday night extravaganza.
Mark Strochnetter’s team makes a solitary change, with foundation team member Taelyn Male returning to the event alongside Rob McMullen and Rebecca Van Asch.
Male comes in for Michael Sims, who will miss due to work comittments.
Both BPL18 grand final teams in the Tweed Heads Ospreys and Melbourne eXtreme go in unchanged, with Tweed bringing back reigning MVP Aaron Teys, Corey Wedlock and Chloe Stewart under coach Wayne Turley OAM.
The eXtreme brings back Matt Flapper, Ali Forsyth and Kylie Whitehead under the tutelage of Kelvin Kerkow.
Home franchise the Moama Steamers are as strong as ever, with the tournament’s most successful player Aron Sherriff returning alongside Cassandra Millerick and Ryan Bester with the always charismatic Kevin Anderson at the helm.
Les Carter is back on deck to coach the Adelaide Pioneers, who make no change to the original BPL18 lineup of Waynne Ruediger, Katelyn Inch and Scott Thulborn despite the heroics of Nathan Black in Queensland.
Black came into the squad after nine rounds after Thulborn took ill and helped the team to a finals appearance, but the two-time MVP will make his return in Moama.
Club Helensvale’s Gold Coast Hawks also remain unchanged, with Brett Wilkie, Nathan Rice and Kelsey Cottrell with Mark Thatcher as the coach.
The Melbourne Pulse will stick with the same playing lineup for the eighth consecutive event as Ellen Ryan, Gary Kelly and Barrie Lester return for the Dandenong Club franchise under coach Jeremy Henry.
Finally, Bill Brandsma’s Perth Suns of Cody Packer, Kristina Krstic and Blake Nairn go in unchanged as they look to leap back up the table.
See below for the full ins and outs for each BPL franchise:
Adelaide Pioneers: Scott Thulborn, Wayne Ruediger, Katelyn Inch
Coach: Les Carter
*Nathan Black took part in BPL18 in place of ill Thulborn
Moreton Bay Pirates: Alex Marshall, Dawn Hayman, Ryan Burnett
Coach: Ellen Falkner
In: Burnett, Hayman, Falkner (Coach)
Out: Burnett (Coach), Jo Edwards, Chris Rosanes
Gold Coast Hawks: Brett Wilkie, Kelsey Cottrell, Nathan Rice
Coach: Mark Thatcher
Melbourne eXtreme: Kylie Whitehead, Matthew Flapper, Ali Forsyth
Coach: Kelvin Kerkow
Melbourne Pulse: Barrie Lester, Gary Kelly, Ellen Ryan
Coach: Jeremy Henry
Moama Steamers: Ryan Bester, Cassandra Millerick, Aron Sherriff
Coach: Kevin Anderson
Perth Suns: Blake Nairn, Kristina Krstic, Cody Packer
Coach: Bill Brandsma
Sydney Lions: Karen Murphy, Ben Twist, Aaron Wilson
Coach: Steve Glasson
Out: Dawn Hayman
Tasmania Tridents: Rebecca Van Asch, Rob McMullen, Taelyn Male
Coach: Mark Strochnetter
Out: Michael Sims
Tweed Heads Ospreys: Aaron Teys, Corey Wedlock, Chloe Stewart
Coach: Wayne Turley
BPL19 runs from February 19-23, 2024, at the Moama Bowling Club with live streaming on Bowls Australia’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, as well as live broadcasts from Tuesday to Friday from 4pm until 10pm AEDT on Fox, Kayo and Sky Sports NZ.