|05 January 2013|
EUROBASKET WOMEN 2013
|Elisa Aguilar is one of the veterans, Saez counts on for next summer|
Spanish Basketball Federation President Jose Luis Saez has spoken of 2013 being a decisive year and insisted the senior women's team must play a part by restoring their reputation with a top five finish at EuroBasket Women.
It's certainly been a disappointing couple of years, having unexpectedly crashed out of the tournament at the first stage during 2011 in Poland which not only extinguished their medal hopes, but also left their London 2012 Olympic dreams in tatters.
However, having bounced back to safely book their spot for France, Saez is now looking for the lengthy list of veteran players to lead the way and help to oversee the integration of a number of younger players with a top five spot very much the target when they step out this summer.
"Now we are qualified for EuroBasket Women, the challenge is to get a place at the FIBA World Championship Women" he said.
"After the absence from the Olympic Games, the most experienced veteran players must bring their strength as part of the incorporation of the young stars, so the team can find the quality and competitiveness it has shown during the last decade to again become a reference national team."
There's little doubt that head coach Lucas Mondelo will echo the sentiment of Saez and will have already earmarked a top five finish as a minimum requirement. Indeed it could be that Spain are installed as one of the favourites to land a podium finish as the tournament draws closer.
As outlined, the veteran players will have a big role to play - as they did during qualification when the likes of Amaya Valdemoro, Elisa Aguilar, Cindy Lima, Marta Fernandez, Laia Palau and Anna Montanana all participated.
The younger generation of players could see the likes of Cristina Ouvina, Marta Xargay, Queralt Casas, Laura Nicholls and Vanessa Ble all competing for spots, whilst star duo Alba Torrens and Silvia Dominguez who missed the qualification campaign are likely to be back on the roster.