With the middle pack of the NBL1 men’s ladder overflowing with teams, every move made is set to make a major difference in the finals chase.
For Frankston, the return of Dan Trist could give them a massive advantage over their rivals.
After a successful stint in Spain with Caceres, Trist is back home and ready to make an instant impact on the Blues’ NBL1 campaign.
The 26-year-old isn’t a stranger to Frankston, as he played with them last season, something he says will make his injection into the squad a fairly seamless transition.
“They’ve kept a couple of guys from last year and obviously the staff and the people around the club are the same,” Trist said.
“I’ve been close to the club since playing there last year. I’ve been keeping tabs on how the team is doing and I’ve managed to get in a couple of practices before I headed out to Spain just to meet some of the new guys.
“They’ve been doing well considering the lack of preseason and the short time period that comes with signing imports and everything. Once they’ve gotten their full squad together, they’re playing really well.”
Not only will the surroundings be similar, but Trist’s familiarity with coach Andrew Harms’ structure will also help ensure there are little dramas when he makes his season debut on Saturday night against Eltham.
“Harmsey has got a pretty fluid style of coaching and he is pretty easy going with the system and letting guys come in and play to their strengths,” Trist said.
“I think we understand each other pretty well, which is definitely a big part of the transition.
“I don’t foresee too many problems coming in, I think I know the kind of players we got and what guys can do.
“That’s been a big part of why I’ve been watching the games, to see what we have got and where I need to plug myself in to help the team.”
The Blues have a talented roster, with Majok Majok, Damon Bozeman, Igor Hadziomerovic and Najeal Young all impressing in the early stages of the campaign.
Trist has studied the roster and reviewed the tape, identifying the areas where he can make his mark on the team.
“I think we have got a lot of really good playmakers this year,” Trist said.
“We are very perimeter orientated, but I think we have been pretty undersized up until now. Majok is an animal inside, he is big on the boards and a great screen and roll target.
“Najeal has been doing a good job playing that undersized four spot and I think coming in as a more traditional four myself and also being able to play some minutes at the five when Majok goes out, it brings more size and physicality to the front court.
“I also bring some more rebounding, being able to play that stretch big position. Being able to fit in with whatever line up Harmsey wants to throw at the other team.
“Whether we go big or small, I don’t see too many problems. I think my style fits with the players we have got and I’m pretty happy with it.”
Sitting 11th on the ladder with a 3-4 record, Frankston resides in the bundle of teams trying to separate themselves from the pack.
Entering round six, Trist knows the time to string some wins together and make a statement is quickly approaching.
“There’s obviously still time but saying that, it’s a pretty competitive league and I don’t think you can look ahead and say we have got an easy patch here or a tough patch here,” Trist said.
“I think every week you are up against it, so there is urgency from that standpoint of trying to win every game every weekend.
“Now is probably the time to start to make that push ahead of the pack. We are well equipped to do that in terms of guys have been here for a while now, everyone has settled in.
“Offensively we are putting up great numbers and now the defence is starting to come together. I think we can really separate ourselves from the other teams.”
Frankston’s women’s team will also receive a boost this weekend, when Shereesha Richards makes her season debut.