After an 18 day selection process which saw some of the leagues most exciting up and coming coaches present their best case, the Tropics board have re-elected Coach Cuthbert as their top man for the job for a further 2 years. Cuthbert was assigned in late 2015 when taking on the role of player-coach (becoming just the 2nd player in league history to do so).
After a dismal 2016-17 campaign, the Tropics faced critism about whether their heavily persevered lineup were section 3 material. Last season the Tropics finished outside of finals contention for the first time in franchise history, raising questions about Coach Cuthberts ability to lead the veteran group both on and off-court.
By seasons end, President and Part-owner Ben McCann released the guillotine, culling 80% of the board and appointing local sporting entrepreneur Bryce Miller as head of marketing operations, talent recruitment and general operations.
While at times when the move would prove gutsy, Miller would combat criticism with courageous moves including a total rebrand (Summer Tropics), launch of the bi-seasonal hit broadcast ‘Talking Tropics’ and the recruitment of 4 year power forward rookie from Windy City, Paul Stelmach. Fast forward to 5 games from the Play-offs, the Summer Tropics sit comfortable in contention for a maiden section 3 finals appearance.
With talls Stelmach and Cuthbert finding the boards, smalls of Tsonas and Romano defending against heavy fire, and Wanless dish-outs topped with Macali dimes, the Summer Tropics have never looked better.
Miller coversely identifies a different side of management for the turn-around; “you know chuck….it’s not so much the bold moves made in the off-season, but more the ability to hold on to our seasoned vets” Miller continued… “You can’t just go out and buy experience, you gotta earn it and once you do, you gotta re-invest, there’s just no other way”. Miller credited the original members and their consitency to do the team things over all.
With 5 games to go and the Summer Tropics sitting in 3rd at 8-3, McCann, Cuthbert and Miller are confident that their men can produce something special come finals. Next up: Broady Stocktake (4-1) in 5th, Away. Chief writer in editor Miller.