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Monday, March 20, 2023

Mandurah Magic head coaches Mark Utley and Vlad Alava ready to kickstart NBL1 2023 season

The Mandurah Magic is gearing up for a big NBL1 2023 season with the arrival of new men’s head coach Mark Utley and the return of women’s head coach Vlad Alava.

It was a massive year in 2022 for the Magic — both on and off the court — with the women qualifying for preliminary finals, the men’s team narrowly missing out on a grand final spot after their semifinal loss, and a tumultuous off-court saga which saw a mass exodus of almost the entire board.

Now with a new board at the helm, the club has a point to prove and is eager to get its premier teams back on track for the new NBL1 season.

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Utley said he was hoping to build a sustainable winning culture and also for prolonged success.

“I have a goal to see all players improve individually and become players that their teammates want to be on the court with when they win,” Utley told the Mandurah Coastal Times.

SBL Basketball, Flames Coach, Mark Utley Pic: Paul Braven 5th of 2014
Camera IconMark Utley has returned to the Mandurah Magic for 2023. Credit: Paul Braven/Kalgoorlie Miner

He said the team had welcomed two new assistants in Daniel Munday and Kane Thompson, as well as new development assistant Darren Blythe, who he said he was looking forward to coaching with.

“Last season the men’s team were successful on court and we want to build on that success,” he said.

Despite having lost some players who played big minutes last year, Utley said the team had some exceptional talent stepping up this season.

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