Taipans boss applauds Fearne's milestone
THERE is no cheapening his achievements during 15 years in Cairns but getting Aaron Fearneto smile on camera is something really worth celebrating, according to his former coach and now Taipans' boss Mark Beecroft.
It has taken every one of those years for it to happen, the feat paraded for all to see in a tongue-in-cheek Facebook post designed to poke fun at the Townsville Crocs before last week's Reptile Rumble.
"We got him to crack a smile, you could probably list that as one of the highlights," Beecroft laughed when accounting the pair's involvement in Cairns basketball. Apart from the occasional wry smile, it has been all business for Fearne as a Taipans player and coach and tomorrow against Perth he will celebrate the quirky statistic of 150 games as a player or head coach of the club.
That's 38 as a player and in his fourth season as coach 112 as play-caller.
What it doesn't account for is his many more as Taipans assistant, multiple campaigns as player and coach of the Marlins and key role in developing the Taipans Academy and junior representative teams.
"150 games is one thing, but his work with the Academy and 15 years at one club learning your trade; that's a long time," Beecroft said.
"It all comes back to the Academy; that's what creates the depth at the club."
Beecroft laughed when asked if he envisioned Fearne to play such a big role when he first arrived.
"I didn't think I would be either; I was only coming for one year," he said.
"At the time you're just following opportunities and satisfying your passion to play. "But 15 years later we're (both) still here."
But with the future of the club in their hands, their friendship can't afford to get in the way of business.
"Absolutely (you draw the line in the sand), and we do," he said.
"You need to have open and frank discussions and they happen all the time. The friendship gets put aside for the common goal."
Going all season without back-to-back wins has hurt the club, despite the fact they are still a top-four shot.
"Aaron's felt that frustration. He's so detailed and the way he's goes about his business is just classy," Beecroft said.
"We still haven't written off the season, but know we could be a lot better-placed."
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Fantastic feat: Taipans coach Aaron Fearne will tomorrow celebrate 150 games as a player and coach in the NBL.