The Canberra Capitals will roll out a tag-team captaincy combination in a bid to ignite a new WNBL championship era, Kelsey Griffin declaring her intent to rebuild the club's winning culture.
Griffin and Marianna Tolo were unveiled as co-captains at the team's season launch on Wednesday night, coach Paul Goriss turning to two of his most experienced players to guide a new-look roster into the season.
Griffin is ready to fire in the opening game of the season against the Sydney Flames on Friday night, but Tolo's comeback from a knee injury will keep her out of action until November 18.
The Capitals are also likely to be without Leilani Mitchell for the round-one clash against her former Sydney teammates, with the Australian Opals guard expected to be fit to play next week.
WNBA import Kia Nurse has arrived in Canberra and says she's ready to make her WNBL debut just days after flying to Australia, and Griffin says the new generation Capitals are ready to end a finals drought.
The Capitals haven't won a championship since the 2009-10 season and haven't made the finals since 2011.
"I do think there's something special about this team, where everyone is taking a bit of ownership," said Griffin, a two-time grand final most valuable player.
"Kelly Wilson has stepped up big in that point guard role and is taking ownership, we look at some of our young players maybe not being as vocal, but they're taking self accountability.
"That's what we're trying to build as a culture … so that we can all hold each other accountable to a high standard. I just want to do whatever I need to do to be successful.
"We are a new group and we do need to find our own identity, and our own culture. But one thing we really want to do is acknowledge the legacy that has been built [by players before us].
"[The Capitals] are the most successful team in the WNBL and we need to do justice to the players who came before us, for what they did to build it. For me to be a paid professional is off the back of their hard work.
"We're not just playing for us this season, we're playing for those who came before us."
Nurse landed in Canberra on Tuesday and will have just two training session with her new teammates before jumping straight into a clash against the Flames.
Nurse spent the WNBA season playing for the New York Liberty after pick No. 10 in the draft. She also starred for Canada at the world championships in Spain before linking with the Capitals.
"I think it was a great decision for me coming here, looking at who the team already had and the coaching staff is really exciting," Nurse said.
"It's a great seasonal transition for me … Australia is somewhere I've always wanted to go so I'm excited to be here and have great teammates."
Former Dandenong Ranger, Adelaide Lightning and Sydney guard Mitchell will travel with the team to play the Flames but it's unlikely the 2017 WNBL champion will play just yet.
"I think I might not be able to play this [first game], my timeframe is another week or two. I'm just doing shooting and running, seeing how it pulls out," Mitchell said.
"We've got so much talent. I don't think I've played on a roster in Australia with this much talent. Now we've got to get the chemistry and camaraderie.
"It's exciting. I think we've got a wide-range of talent … I've been working hard and doing a lot of rehab so I'm excited to get fighting with these girls."
Capitals squad: Kelsey Griffin, Marianna Tolo, Kia Nurse, Leilani Mitchell, Kelly Wilson, Kristy Wallace, Lauren Scherf, Keely Froling, Hannah Young, Maddison Rocci, Eliza-Jane Loader, Kaili Mclaren, Abby Cabillo.
CANBERRA CAPITALS DRAW (home games in bold)
October 12: Capitals v Sydney Flames at Sydney Uni, 7pm
October 19: Capitals v Melbourne Boomers at Geelong, 7.30pm
October 21: Capitals v Adelaide Lightning at NCC, 2pm
October 26: Capitals v Melbourne Boomers at AIS Arena, 7pm
November 4: Capitals v Sydney Flames at NCC, 2pm
November 10: Capitals v Perth Lynx at Perth, 3pm
November 18: Capitals v Dandenong Rangers at NCC, 2pm
November 23: Capitals v Melbourne Boomers at NCC, 7pm
November 30: Capitals v Perth Lynx at Perth, 9.30pm
December 2: Capitals v Adelaide Lightning at Adelaide, 3.30pm
December 9: Capitals v Bendigo Spirit at NCC, 2pm
December 14: Capitals v Adelaide Lightning at Adelaide, 7.30pm
December 16: Capitals v Perth Lynx at NCC, 5pm
December 21: Capitals v Dandenong Rangers at NCC, 7pm
December 23: Capitals v Townsville Fire at Townsville, 4pm
December 28: Capitals v Townsville Fire at NCC, 7pm
December 30: Capitals v Dandenong Rangers at Dandenong, 3pm
January 4: Capitals v Bendigo Spirit at AIS Arena, 7pm
January 11: Capitals v Townsville Fire at Townsville, 8pm
January 13: Capitals v Sydney Flames at Sydney Olympic, 12.30pm
January 19: Capitals v Bendigo Spirit at Bendigo, 3pm
Chris Dutton is the sports editor at The Canberra Times.