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Wilson the 'glue' for new-look Caps

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Last week, a flu-ridden Carly Wilson received a text from Capitals coach Carrie Graf epitomising her importance to the team.

Wilson has always relished being Canberra's Miss Fix-It, and her versatility shapes as even more crucial this season.

Canberra will field a new-look squad in 2011-12, starting with the grand final rematch against Bulleen in Melbourne tomorrow.

The departures of Alison Lacey and Suzy Batkovic, plus an injury to Michelle Cosier, mean Wilson's flexibility will be relied on more than ever.

''I was sick last week and I was getting messages from Graffy saying 'look after yourself, you're my one to four man, we can't have you go down','' Wilson said. ''I'm enjoying it. I've been in the league a long time, and it's good for me to swing into different positions.''

Primarily a small forward, Wilson will be the back-up point guard to Nicole Hunt during the opening rounds. New recruit Alice Coddington will take over as Hunt's deputy once she finds her feet, allowing Wilson to play her preferred role.

''I'm not a natural point guard I would say,'' Wilson said.

''I'm a good talker and organiser, but handling the ball isn't my favourite thing.

''It's going to be another versatile year doing different things.''

When Opals centre Batkovic was unavailable for much of last year, Wilson slotted into the post and held her own.

Graf describes her as the team's ''glue'', a player who can adjust her role according to the requirements of the team.

''If we need something plugged up or fixed we turn to Willo, she's our glue in a lot of ways,'' Graf said.

''I think she thrives on that and likes to be the glue piece.

''She can defend bigger than herself, she can defend guard types, and she can play inside and out offensively.

''It gives us some different looks.''

Wilson expects Hunt, 22, to build further on last season's impressive debut campaign with Canberra.

Hunt played for the Australian Opals against China and New Zealand over the off-season, and Wilson has noted a rise in confidence.

''She is leaps and bounds to what she was last year, and I was so impressed the way she played last year,'' Wilson said.

''She's in amazing form in terms of her leadership and organisation.''

A renowned defensive weapon, Wilson stepped up her offensive output last season and will need to again without Cosier and Batkovic.

''Certainly scoring-wise I'm going to have to step up like I did the first half of last season,'' Wilson said.

''On court Graffy's said 'Flea' [Hunt] will be our offensive leader and I'll be the defensive leader, making calls on the court.''

WNBL round 1: Bulleen v Canberra at The Veneto Club, Melbourne, 1pm

TV time: Live on ABC1.

Dandenong v Canberra at Dandenong Basketball Stadium, 12.30pm.

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