Todd Blanchfield chose the Rockhampton Rockets over hometown club Mackay Meteors, ahead of the NBL1 North season.
Todd Blanchfield chose the Rockhampton Rockets over hometown club Mackay Meteors, ahead of the NBL1 North season.

Blanchfield defection adds spice to NBL1 rivalry

ROCKHAMPTON has won the battle to sign NBL star Todd Blanchfield.

But Mackay Meteors coach Joel Khalu says it will make the inevitable war that much more interesting.

The Rockets today confirmed Mackay product and Illawarra Hawks captain Blanchfield would be taking his talents to Hegvold Stadium and not The Crater next season, in the newly-minted NBL1 North competition.

Blanchfield was the first call Khalu made when he returned to the Meteors late last year.

And the returning coach was hopeful the pull to play at home once again, in front of a sellout Mackay crowd, would get the 200cm swingman back in the Meteors’ red and black.

That hope was cut down on Tuesday when Blanchfield’s management confirmed he would not be heading home.

That Blanchfield this morning chose the Meteors’ biggest rivals as his landing spot only added salt to the wound.

But Khalu was ultimately optimistic about the scenario.

“It’s obviously disappointing from our club’s perspective that he’s joined Rockhampton but as his local club we wish him all the best for the season,” Khalu said.

“Rocky has always been a club that invests a lot of resources into their playing roster and they have obviously put together a very strong package for Toddy.

“The rivalry is already pretty fierce between the two clubs. Now that Toddy is suiting up for the Rockets, I think that will add another level of electricity to the atmosphere.

“Ultimately, the fact he’s back playing in this league, even if not with us, is great.”