TOWNSVILLE FIRE CLUB HISTORY

The Townsville Fire is a women’s professional basketball team that competes in the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) in Australia. The team is based in Townsville, Queensland, and has been a prominent part of the Australian basketball scene for more than 20 years.

The Townsville Fire was founded in 2001, and quickly established itself as a competitive force in the league. Over the next few seasons, the Fire continued to build its reputation as a team to be reckoned with, regularly making the playoffs and building a loyal fanbase in Townsville. The team continued to improve in the coming years, but it wasn’t until the 2014-2015 season that the Fire captured its first WNBL championship. Led by star player Suzy Batkovic, the team went on a dominant run in the playoffs, ultimately defeating the Bendigo Spirit in the Grand Final to bring the championship trophy too Townsville for the first time. The team would go on to repeat as champions in the 2015-2016 season, cementing its place as one of the premier teams in the league. They won the Championship again in the 2017/18 season, ultimately being named team of the decade for their dominant 10 years.

In the years since, the Fire has continued to be a strong contender and a symbol of pride for the Townsville community. In addition to its on-court success, the Townsville Fire has also established itself as a leader in community engagement and social responsibility. The team regularly participates in charity events and community outreach programs, and has become a beloved fixture of the Townsville community. Through its 20-plus years of history, the Townsville Fire has emerged as one of the most successful and respected franchises in the WNBL. With its talented players, dedicated staff, and passionate fanbase, the Fire is sure to be a dominant force in Australian basketball for many years to come. The Fire secured their fourth championship in the 2022/23 season

Notable Achievements:

Over the past two decades, the Fire has turned into a WNBL heavyweight and is ranked number one in the following categories:

* Television Audiences
* Membership
* Revenue
* Media value

Having contested five of the past six Grand Finals – including three championships – the Fire claimed their maiden WNBL title on their home floor in 2014/15 with 75-65 victory over Bendigo.

The victory provided a fairy-tale finish for championship captain Rachael McCully, who retired following the game and became the first Fire player to have her number retired.

The Fire successfully defended their title when they swept Perth 2-0 in the WNBL’s first best-of-three Grand Final series.

In 2017/18, the Fire secured their third championship in four years when they defeated the Melbourne Boomers 2-1 in front of their home fans.

A timeline of the Fire’s history includes:

2001/02

Coach: David Herbert
Captain: Desiree Glaubitz
Record: 3-18 (8th) – Missed play-offs.
Fire Award winners: Kylie Galloway (MVP), Desiree Glaubitz (Players’ Player), Jade Hyett (Fans’ Player).
WNBL Award winners:

2002/03

Coach: David Herbert
Captain: Nat Porter
Record: 15-6 (2nd) – lost preliminary final.
Fire Award winners: Nat Porter (MVP), Claudia Brassard (Players’ Player), Jodie Datson (Fans’ Player).
WNBL Award winners: David Herbert named WNBL Coach of the Year, Nat Porter named WNBL Defensive Player of the Year, Nat Porter named in the WNBL All-Star Five.

2003/04

Coach: David Herbert
Captain: Nat Porter
Record: 12-9 (5th) – Missed play-offs.
Fire Award winners: Jodie Datson (MVP), Julia Harris (Players’ Player), Gina Stevens (Fans’ Player).
WNBL Award winners: Jodie Datson named in the WNBL All-Star Five.

2004/05

Coach: David Herbert
Captain: Claudia Brassard
Record: 7-14 (6th) – Missed play-offs.
Fire Award winners: Claudia Brassard (MVP), Claudia Brassard (Players’ Player), Claudia Brassard (Fans’ Player), Celeste Heilbronn (Denis Russell Commitment to Excellence)
WNBL Award winners:

2005/06

Coach: David Herbert
Captain: Claudia Brassard
Record: 12-9 (6th) – Missed play-offs.
Fire Award winners: Rohanee Cox (MVP), Andrea Walsh (Players’ Player), Rohanee Cox and Kelly Wilson (Fans’ Player), Jennifer Crouse and Andrea Walsh (Denis Russell Commitment to Excellence)
WNBL Award winners:

2006/07

Coach: David Herbert
Captain: Claudia Brassard
Record: 10-11 (6th) – Missed play-offs.
Fire Award winners: Rohanee Cox (MVP), Jennifer Crouse (Players’ Player), Rohanee Cox (Fans’ Player), Renae Camino (Denis Russell Commitment to Excellence)
WNBL Award winners:

2007/08

Coach: Peter Buckle
Captains: Tania Baxter & Jennifer Crouse
Record: 10-14 (6th) – Missed play-offs.
Fire Award winners: Rohanee Cox (MVP), Jennifer Crouse (Players’ Player), Kelly Wilson (Fans’ Player), Katie Langford (Denis Russell Commitment to Excellence)
WNBL Award winners: Rohanee Cox named in the WNBL All-Star Five.

2008/09

Coach: Peter Buckle
Captains: Rohanee Cox & Jennifer Crouse
Record: 16-3 (3rd) – Lost preliminary final.
Fire Award winners: Rohanee Cox (MVP), Rachael Flanagan (Players’ Player), Rachael Flanagan (Fans’ Player), Jennifer Crouse (Denis Russell Commitment to Excellence)
WNBL Award winners: Rohanee Cox named WNBL MVP, Rohanee Cox named in the WNBL All-Star Five.

2009/10

Coach: Peter Buckle
Captains: Rohanee Cox & Rachael Flanagan
Record: 14-8 (4th) – Lost semi-final.
Fire Award winners: Rachael Flanagan (MVP), Rachael Flanagan (Players’ Player), Rachael Flanagan (Fans’ Player), Amy Lewis (Denis Russell Commitment to Excellence)
WNBL Award winners: Rachael Flanagan named WNBL Defensive Player of the Year

2010/11

Coach: Peter Buckle
Captain: Rachael Flanagan
Record: 10-12 (7th) – Missed play-offs.
Fire Award winners: Rachael Flanagan (MVP), Jo Hill (Players’ Player), Jo Hill (Fans’ Player), Amy Lewis (Denis Russell Commitment to Excellence)
WNBL Award winners: Rachael Flanagan named WNBL Defensive Player of the Year.

2011/12

Coach: Chris Lucas
Captain: Rachael Flanagan
Record: 13-9 (4th) – Lost semi-final.
Fire Award winners: Shanavia Dowdell (MVP), Micaela Cocks (Players’ Player), Micaela Cocks (Denis Russell Commitment to Excellence)
WNBL Award winners: Shanavia Dowdell named in the WNBL All-Star Five.

2012/13

Coach: Chris Lucas
Captain: Rachael Flanagan
Record: 13-11 (4th) – Lost Grand Final.
Fire Award winners: Jessica Foley (MVP), Micaela Cocks and Jessica Foley (Players’ Player), Mia Newley and Olivia Thompson (Denis Russell Commitment to Excellence)
WNBL Award winners:

2013/14

Coach: Chris Lucas
Captain: Rachael McCully
Record: 16-8 (3rd) – Lost Grand Final.
Fire Award winners: Suzy Batkovic (MVP), Rachael McCully (Players’ Player), Mia Newley (Denis Russell Commitment to Excellence), Stephanie Cumming (Coaches’ Award)
WNBL Award winners: Suzy Batkovic named WNBL MVP, Suzy Batkovic named in the WNBL All-Star Five, Alex Wilson named WNBL Rookie of the Year.

2014/15

Coach: Chris Lucas
Captain: Rachael McCully
Record: 17-5 (1st) – Champions.
Fire Award winners: Suzy Batkovic (MVP), Mia Newley (Players’ Player), Not Awarded (Fans’ Player), Rachael McCully (Denis Russell Commitment to Excellence), Micaela Cocks (Coaches’ Award)
WNBL Award winners: Cayla Francis named in the WNBL All-Star Five, Mia Newley named Rachael Sporn Medallist (Grand Final MVP).

2015/16

Coach: Chris Lucas
Captain: Suzy Batkovic
Record: 17-7 (1st) – Champions.
Fire Award winners: Suzy Batkovic (MVP), Mia Newley (Players’ Player), Cherie Gallagher (Denis Russell Commitment to Excellence), Darcee Garbin (Coaches’ Award)
WNBL Award winners: Suzy Batkovic named WNBL MVP, Suzy Batkovic named in the WNBL All-Star Five, Micaela Cocks named Rachael Sporn Medallist (Grand Final MVP).

2016/17

Coach: Claudia Brassard
Captain: Suzy Batkovic
Record: 14-10 (4th)
Fire Award winners: Suzy Batkovic (MVP), Mia Murray (Players’ Player), Kelly Wilson (Denis Russell Commitment to Excellence), Mia Murray (Coaches’ Award)
WNBL Award winners: Suzy Batkovic named WNBL MVP, Suzy Batkovic named in the WNBL All-Star Five.

2017/18

Coach: Claudia Brassard
Captain: Suzy Batkovic
Record: 14-7 (3rd) – Champions
Fire Award winners: Suzy Batkovic (MVP), Micaela Cocks (Players’ Player), Micaela Cocks (Denis Russell Commitment to Excellence), Darcee Garbin (Coaches’ Award)
WNBL Award winners: Suzy Batkovic named WNBL MVP, Suzy Batkovic named in the WNBL All-Star Five, Suzy Batkovic named Rachael Sporn Medallist (Grand Final MVP).
Life Members: Rachael McCully (Player) and John Davies (Official).

2018/19

Coach: Claudia Brassard
Captain: Suzy Batkovic
Record: 9-12 (6th)
Fire Award winners: Suzy Batkovic (MVP), Micaela Cocks (Players’ Player), Micaela Cocks (Denis Russell Commitment to Excellence), Darcee Garbin (Coaches’ Award)
WNBL Award winners: TBA
Life Members: Suzy Batkovic (Player), Micaela Cocks (Player), Mia Murray (Player) and John McCully (Official).

2019/20

Coach: Shannon Seebohm
Captain: Micaela Cocks
Record: 5-16 (8th)
Fire Award winners: Darcee Garbin (MVP), Micaela Cocks (Players’ Player), Kate Gaze (Club Person of the year), Tess Madgen (Denis Russell Commitment to Excellence), Micaela Cocks (Coaches’ Award)
WNBL Award winners: 
Life Members: 

2020

Coach: Shannon Seebohm
Leadership Group: Mia Murray, Lauren Nicholson, Nadeen Payne and Kate Gaze
Record: 9-4 (2nd) Lost Grandfinal
Fire Award winners: Lauren Nicholson (MVP), Kate Gaze (Players’ Player), Kate Gaze (Club Person of the year), Shyla heal ( Commitment to Excellence), Meg Mckay (Coaches’ Award)
WNBL Award winners: Shannon Seebohm ( Coach of the Year ) Zitina Aokuso (Sixth woman of the Year) Shyla Heal ( Youth Player of the Year) Lauren Nicholson (All WNBL First Team) Shyla Heal ( All WNBL Second Team ) 
Life Members: 

2021/22

Coach: Shannon Seebohm
Leadership Group: Mia Murray, Lauren Nicholson,
Record: 7-10 (5th)
Fire Award winners: Stephanie Reid (MVP), Courtney Woods (Players’ Player), Stephanie Reid (Club Person of the year), Aliza Gabbro ( Commitment to Excellence), Courtney  woods  (Coaches’ Award)
WNBL Award winners: 
Life Members: Michelle Morton 

 

 

2022/23

Coach: Shannon Seebohm
Captain –  Lauren Nicholson
Record: 17-4 1st
Fire Award winners: Tianna Hawkins (MVP), KateGaze (Players’ Playes), Gemma Heaft (Club Person of the year), Lara McSpadden ( Commitment to Excellence), Karlie Samuelson  (Coaches’ Award) Courtney Woods  (Army Award)
WNBL Award winners: Shannon Seebohm ( Coach of the Year ) Tianna Hawkins (All WNBL First Team) Lauren Nicholson ( All WNBL Second Team ) Steph Reid ( Community person of the year) Steph Reid ( Golden Hands award)