Graf weighs up options after another unfulfilled season
Capitals coach Carrie Graf. Photo: Colleen Petch
Canberra Capitals coach Carrie Graf expects her future with the club to be resolved within the next fortnight, but stopped short of guaranteeing she will return for a 13th season.
Graf, who has led the Capitals to six championships, is also in discussions with Basketball Australia about renewing her contract with the Australian Opals.
Her continued involvement with the Opals or otherwise will be a key factor, and The Canberra Times understands Graf has also fielded interest from overseas.
''Hopefully by the end of the week there'll be finality to what [offer] is on the table, and I guess it will be up to me ultimately to make the decision, what are the right options for me going forward with all the things I'm involved in,'' Graf said on Thursday.
''There's a whole lot of factors. There's offshore opportunity, there's the WNBL and there's national teams. What's the best fit for me professionally and personally?
''There's got to be the details of the offer, and once we've got that clarity then decisions can drop in after that.
''In the next week or two I'd like to have a resolution.''
The Capitals have won just six of 20 games this season, and are resigned to missing the play-offs for the second season in succession. It is foreign territory for the most successful franchise in the WNBL, but Graf insisted their recent struggles won't affect her decision.
''Your natural competitive nature says you want to leave things on a winning note, but the success of a team and a program is more than just those things,'' she said.
''Any decisions I make won't be based on the fact we haven't been as successful the last couple of seasons. That's removing your competitive ego from the decision, it's easy to say, 'I want to keep doing this because we've got to get back winning', or 'It's time to move on because we're not getting it done here'.''
Asked if she felt the club needed a new voice, Graf insisted she hadn't sensed that feeling among the players.
''I don't know that's so much the issue because we've had turnover of personnel, [Jess] Bibby's been here five [seasons] and Willo [Carly Wilson] three or four, half our team is first- or second-year players,'' she said.
''I'd be honest in saying if we had six [veterans] and we were going like this, maybe it's a factor.''
Canberra has been dealt a blow before Friday night's home clash with Townsville, with bench post player Valerie Ogoke ruled out for the season after damaging ankle ligaments at training. That's been offset by the return of Brigitte Ardossi, who missed last week's 72-69 loss to Bulleen with a concussion.
The in-form centre's inclusion is a massive boost, with the Fire boasting one of the league's best post combinations in American imports Jess Adair and Kayla Standish.
But the challenge isn't fazing Ardossi.
''The last game we played against Townsville [a 68-62 loss in December] Graffy said to me, 'let's see what you can do against a WNBA player','' Ardossi said.
''I don't remember the exact stats but if you look back I shut her [Adair] down, and I'll be doing that again.''
Capitals point guard Nicole Hunt trained strongly on Wednesday after her achilles flared up against Bulleen, and she is expected to play.