Perth Wildcats coach Rob Beveridge will write a regular column for thewest.com.au during the NBL season.
After covering thousands of kilometres, having players with injuries and illnesses because of all the travel and associated events, to now, finally, be at the end of that tunnel with three wins before our first home game is what we were after.
The carrot for us was to get back to Perth with a positive win-loss record and then be ready to start playing in our new stadium.
From a personal perspective, it is just super exciting and special looking ahead to Friday's game at the Perth Arena. We are creating history and we are going into the biggest and best stadium in Australia, and it's taken us a long time to get there so right now the whole thing is about just being so excited to get in there to play for the first time.
We are training there on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, and the guys are all just so excited about finally getting in there to have a run on the court. The support that we got from the fans has always been sensational, but now we have nearly 7500 members and will have 12,000 people at the game on Friday, so you feel proud of that.
You are proud that what you are trying to build and achieve as a club is being supported so strongly by the public. Everyone in the community knows who our guys are and they are all such positive role models, and I think that has a big influence on getting people along as well.
When people ask me about the stadium I tell them that the foyers and everything is like walking into a five-star hotel with the marble and finishing and attention to detail with everything. The whole thing is just top notch and it's one of those things that once the people of Perth get in there and see it, they will be proud of their stadium and excited to be in there.
To be honest when I first signed on to coach the club the new stadium wasn’t something that was a factor but there was always the vision that we had to go on to something bigger and better because we were at 100 per cent capacity at Challenge.
The reason I did sign was because it allowed me to do what I wanted to do as a coach and moving into a stadium like this always seemed like a bit of a pipe dream. Then you would think you might get 10,000 there, but for that first game to be sold out already is just unbelievable.
There's no doubt come Friday that the guys will be nervous. You always want to defend your home court and there probably is going to be a lot of nerves there. We played Adelaide on Sunday and had our opportunities to win the game, but just couldn’t get over the line and I think that our guys are going to be so pumped to not lose that first game in the Perth Arena.
There will be a lot of nerves and maybe some anxiety not wanting to lose, but at the end of the day we are playing a good team and at the same time, I think it might be good and make our players go to another level.We know that it's going to be another absolute battle just like it was on Sunday when it came down to the last few minutes. We didn’t put them away and missed lay-ups and foul shots, which we are pretty pissed off about, and we know that we can't let that happen again because they will beat us if we do. That was the one that got away so we have to make sure that doesn’t happen again.