View Comments
Wildcat with the extra one per cent
Will Markwick. Picture: Michael O'Brien.

Meet Will Markwick, the man planning to add the extra "one per cent" the Perth Wildcats believe they need to win a record sixth NBL championship.

The heartbreak of last season's grand final loss will provide determination, and vocal home crowds with the inspiration, throughout the 2012-13 campaign.

But Markwick is more interested in the nitty gritty behind the scenes, where he is aiming to turn the Wildcats into the leanest and meanest basketball machine in the league.

The recently appointed full-time strength and conditioning coach - a first for the club - pulled no punches in declaring he was hell-bent on taking the Wildcats back to the top.

"We've got to win it," Markwick said. "I want to bring something that they haven't had from my area of expertise.

"I want to really try and get to the point where we're reaching a higher quality with the level of basketball that they already play.

"And if we improve the quality off court, from performance through to recovery and all those things, I don't see why we can't win it."

Coach Rob Beveridge is always looking for ways to improve and believes the Wildcats are on the verge of something special.

Much like the club's front office has grown to cope with increased corporate support and demand for membership, Beveridge has added to his basketball staff.

Markwick will be joined next week by another full-time assistant coach, former NBA video analyst Adam Tatalovich.

"We're going to a different level as a club," Beveridge said. "We're trying to find the one percenters and by bringing Will in, he's definitely going to be a hard taskmaster for the guys."

Markwick has a good foundation to build on. Brad Robbins is likely to miss the pre-season tournament at the end of next month, but the co-captain is doing extra aerobic work and will be ready to play when his injured right wrist heals.

Key players Damian Martin (ankle) and Matt Knight (shoulder) have recovered from off-season surgery and Greg Hire (finger) will be back to full strength soon.

But the Wildcats are in no doubt there are areas they need to improve before the season begins on October 5 with a grudge match in Auckland against New Zealand.

"We did some testing on Monday and the boys are looking in pretty good nick from a fitness point of view," Markwick said.

"We've got goals and ambitions to get a lot faster. We've got plenty of time (before the season starts).

"We've set our plan out and we're comfortable and confident in that plan to get them there.

"By the first weekend in October they'll be ready to go."