Kate Gaze emerges as Capitals captaincy bolter

Kate Gaze could go from super-sub to skipper after emerging as a captaincy bolter for the Canberra Capitals.

The Capitals are set to vote on their new captain with Gaze a leading candidate alongside Nat Hurst and WNBA veteran Mistie Bass.

The trio will likely form a part of Capitals coach Paul Goriss' leadership group but he's left the captaincy in the hands of his playing group because "it's their team".

Canberra are on the lookout for a new captain following the departures of former skippers Carly Wilson and Marianna Tolo.

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Goriss sees Gaze as a natural leader, Bass has spent time coaching in the WNBA, while Hurst is the only player to have been involved in all seven of Canberra's WNBL titles.

"It's got to be someone they respect, someone they're going to listen to and someone they feel comfortable going to," Goriss said.

"In our group, there's Nat, there's Gazey, there's Mistie, that'll give me honest feedback about how the group is going and where we need to be at.

"I do lean on them a fair bit because at the end of the day, it's their team, they're the ones out on the court.

"[Gaze] just brings a lot of energy and a lot of life to our group. While she says she doesn't lead, she does by example and her voice and enthusiasm carries everybody at practice, shooting and individuals.

"She spends four years at college and then two years at Townsville in some championship-winning teams. Having her back from last season, knowing the style, knowing the system, and knowing what the team is about, it's great to have her on board."

Gaze signed a one-year deal to stay at the Capitals and never entertained the thought of going anywhere else given her desire to break Canberra's lengthy finals drought.

She's always among the loudest voices on the court and an almost entirely new group makes Gaze an ideal fit for a leadership role - and she won't have to change a thing.

"I don't feel like I have to, I feel like it's a natural thing," Gaze said.

"After knowing Gorrie for a few years and playing with him last year it just carries on from where we were at last year and it comes pretty easy.

"I think we have an easy group to lead and we all know what Gorrie expects and he makes it easy for us.

"It's nice to be able to lead and give something back to the young girls coming through. Hopefully they can learn something off myself and the other leaders in the team."

Canberra will cap off a huge week of practice they've dubbed "hell week" when they take on defending champions Sydney University in a pre-season clash on Saturday.

The arrival of Gaze and American import Jordan Hooper means Goriss will have 11 players to choose from out of his squad of 12, with Rachel Jarry still on the comeback trail from a knee injury.

WNBL ROUND ONE

October 6: Canberra Capitals v Bendigo Spirit at the National Convention Centre, 7.30pm.

October 8: Canberra Capitals v Adelaide Lightning at the National Convention Centre, 3pm.

This story Kate Gaze emerges as Capitals captaincy bolter first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.