Count them out at your peril: Meet Capitals' new stars

They've already been written off by some pundits but the new-look Canberra Capitals have one message for the doubters: count us out at your peril.

The Capitals open their season against Bendigo at the brand new National Convention Centre court on Friday night, before backing up against Adelaide on Sunday.

Among Canberra's squad will be three teenagers in 18-year-old's Eziyoda Magbegor and development player Callie Bourne, and 19-year-old Maddison Rocci.

Throw in a trio of 21-year-old's in Lauren Scherf, Keely Froling and Abigail Wehrung, and you've got one of the most inexperienced squads in the league.

That's before you even consider the fact they lost Australian star Marianna Tolo and retired 363-game veteran Carly Wilson.

But Scherf says while they may be young, the next generation of Capitals are ready to embrace the challenge and "achieve something great" in Canberra.

Magbegor has been dubbed "the next Lauren Jackson" and Capitals coach Paul Goriss believes she is one of the best young basketballers in the world.

Rocci is among Australia's most promising young talents, while Scherf, Froling and Wehrung are coming in hot off the back of a World Uni Games gold medal.

Scherf was the WNBL rookie of the year in 2015 after starting her career with the Dandenong Rangers and will look to fill the massive hole left by Marianna Tolo.

She knows she has a massive challenge on her hands but the 196 centimetre forward is itching to prove herself in a team desperate to silence the doubters.

"It gives us more motivation to prove to those that think that, that we're a lot better than they think we are," Scherf said.

"I don't think we have doubt in our team, we're all open-minded and really positive about where we're going.

"We may be young, but we bring a lot of energy and talent to this group so I'm just excited to see it all unfold on game day."

A feeling of excitement is rife at Capitals headquarters as they gear up for a new season, with new players, on a brand new court.

Their promising crop of youngsters complements veterans Nat Hurst and Mistie Bass, and a raft of stars in Kate Gaze, Chevannah Paalvast, Jordan Hooper and Rachel Jarry.

The mix of rookies, Olympians and championship winners make the Capitals resemble a packet of licorice allsorts but Magbegor says that's exactly why they're a force to be reckoned with.

Magbegor believes the Capitals are well-placed to end a six-year finals drought and she refuses to write off the prospect of causing a boilover and claiming Canberra's first championship since 2009-10.

"We want to be a team that goes hard every game and is known for fighting for every possession," Magbegor said.

"Not that we needed the extra motivation, because we are already are motivated ahead of the season, but that sparked something in us and we want to prove people wrong.

"[We want to show] that we can finish in the top four, if not win the whole thing."

WNBL ROUND ONE

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

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

This story Count them out at your peril: Meet Capitals' new stars first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.