Welsh international Laura Shanahan has been busy this offseason, going the extra mile in preparation for the Berlin Marathon in September.
“It started as an inspirational conversation during a training session at the beginning of last season and now Justine [Ferland] and I are actually registered and entering into our last phase of training – which is a scary thought,” explained Shanahan.
“My offseason has pretty much consisted of preparing for long runs at the weekend, recovering and fitting in basketball sessions during the week.
“Hopefully the training will benefit us both when we head into preseason!”
It was officially confirmed last week that Freeland will return to Cardiff Met Archers for the 2018-19 campaign, as the Welsh side look to recreate the late season momentum that propelled the team into the Play-Offs.
“We had such potential as a squad last season and we didn’t really show any signs of reaching that potential until the end of the season,” recalled Shanahan.
“When we beat BA London Lions to make the Play-Offs and pushed Sevenoaks Suns in the first round, I think we really came together as a team and showed what we were capable of – displaying the team basketball that we were striving towards during the season.
“On reflection, it was clearly too little too late but I think that, with the core of the team remaining, we can learn from last season and show resilience this year and not allow external factors such as injuries and postponed games affect our performance.
“I’m confident that having the combination of another year’s experience under our belts and filtering in the new additions who will be joining us that we’ll be able to pick up from where we left off last season and continue to progress as a team.
“From a personal perspective, I really enjoyed last season despite the results.
“At Archers, we are so lucky to have Stef’s [Collins] knowledge and experience to guide and lead us. Just being able to observe and play against her in training makes me a better player.
“I also really enjoyed having more experienced team mates with a different basketball background to my own – they took the time to teach me and make me see the game in a way I hadn’t seen before, so I was really grateful for that.
“I’m really excited to get back on court this season, I’ve missed training as a team over the summer and I’m looking forward to seeing how our team is going to look through preseason and into the new campaign.
“Hopefully the core of our squad from last year and the fresh new talent that’s been brought in will fit together nicely and we’ll pick up where we left off at the end of last season.”
Image: C.Cox / TUBPodcast