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SPORT

Dufelmeier set to rise from ashes yet again

By GARY SCHOLES

It is possible that Tad Dufelmeier may have to have a hunt around the bottom of his wardrobe for his basketball boots.

At the end of the last National Basketball League season Dufelmeier was dumped by the Cannons and he had resigned himself to the fact that his playing career, • at that level anyway, was over.

Things have changed.

He has received a tentative inquiry from the Southern Melbourne Saints — formerly the Westside Saints and before that the St Kilda Saints — as to whether he would be interested in joining a new-look

team for the 1991 NBL season.

Recently, former Adelaide 36ers coach Gary Fox was appointed to the coaching position with the Saints but since then rumours have been rife in Melbourne about a consortium of businessmen who are attempting to buy the rights of the club.

If it is successful, so the rumours go, Fox will not be appointed and long-time stalwart Bennie Lewis will become captain-coach.

"That's what I have heard," Dufelmeier, 35, said yesterday. "But I will wait and see what happens.

"I really was quite surprised when I got a telephone call inquiring as to what I would be doing next season.

UI told them that the Cannons had cut me and that I was not playing with any club.

"They suggested that they were interested in talking to me and if that is the case, I am certainly interested in listening.

"I really did not think that any club would be worry ing about me because it would take a very, very good offer to make me move to a different location.

"The spokesman from the Saints hinted at a few figures and I will probably And out for sure when they go through the formalities involved with discussing

" contracts.

"They will no doubt get in touch with the Cannons and then, if they are still serious, with me. Then we will start talking seriously.

"I really was surprised at the call but I would be stupid to knock any offer back without at least talking

to them first.

"I am happy with my fitness and there appears to be no problems with my knees at all. I have played a few carnivals lately and I am playing tennis regularly so there are not too many worries."

Other names linked with the Saints in what could be a new venture include former NBL players Bill Jones (Adelaide), Ray Shirley (Geelong and Coburg), Cecil Exum (Melbourne Tigers and North Melbourne) and Ken Epperson (Melbourne Tigers and Hobart).

□ ADELAIDE CAPTAIN Darryl Pearce has ended - uncertainty over his NBL future by agreeing to continue . with the 36ers for the next three years. The 30-year-old

Seoul Olympian had been transfer-listed after protract , cd negotiations with the club, but now looks set to

. finish his 229-game NBL career with the 36ers.

Pearce has led the 36ers for the past two years, with Adelaide this season having its worst ever campaign after finishing out of the play-offs for the first time.

Coach Don Shipway has embarked on a rebuilding program with the 36ers, having already signed Califor nian point guard Butch Hayes, who trialled successfully

on Adelaide's recent American tour.

Hayes takes the second import spot alongside Mark Davis, with forward Tom Schafer cut after just one season. Hawaiian-based Australian Mike Corkeron will be another new face next season, with Adelaide under going a major personnel alteration.

Promising guard Scott Ninnis has joined Eastside Melbourne, veteran A1 Green has gone to Newcastle, while Dan Clausen has retired and Simon Cottrell has also left. Shipway has three spots to fill and is expected to name his 1991 squad on Monday.

In regards to Cottrell's apparent departure from Ade laide, Cannon's General Manager Peter Higgisson said he had not heard from Cottrell at all and that nothing had changed.

"People keep asking me what is happening with Simon and 1 keep giving them the same answer. As far as we know he is contracted and until we hear other wise, we will not be doing anything. If he is free of commitments and if he wants to come and play with us, we will talk to him I am sure. It is up to the coach, Mel Dalgleish."

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