Jenny Lonergan will make the leap to the WNBL to join the Canberra Capitals

Jenny Lonergan will jump straight into the WNBL deep end to help the Canberra Capitals prepare for their championship defence.

But the Canberra Nationals mentor is confident more than 20 years of experience will help her make the transition after joining Paul Goriss' coaching staff for the 2019-20 season.

Canberra Nationals coach Jenny Lonergan, second from left, has joined the Capitals coaching staff. Picture: Supplied.

Canberra Nationals coach Jenny Lonergan, second from left, has joined the Capitals coaching staff. Picture: Supplied.

Lonergan will be one of Goriss' two assistant coaches, joining Carly Wilson on the bench when the season begins on October 13.

Lonergan and Wilson have taken the head coaching reins while Goriss is with the Australian Opals at the Asia Cup, putting Lonergan on a steep learning curve.

She has welcomed the challenge after guiding the Nationals into the Waratah League grand final last month and overseeing the development of some of Canberra's most promising juniors.

Lonergan was in charge of the under-18s programs and will work closely with the Capitals' development players to get them up to a WNBL standard. The Capitals have signed Shaekra Reilly, Pyper Thornberry and Maddy Wheatley to development deals to bolster the main squad. "I'm super excited and pretty humbled to have the opportunity," Lonergan said.

"It's a privilege because you're working with Olympians and international players. Obviously it's been a goal of mine for a while, so to have the chance is pretty exciting.

"You're always learning. I've been coaching for more than 20 years both with males and females.

"But to understand how elite players work on their game and lead their teammates, that's super exciting and I want to help be that link with the development players."

French point guard Olivia Epoupa has arrived in Canberra to start training before making her WNBL debut this season, while Kelsey Griffin is easing herself back into training after recovering from off-season operations.

The Capitals have added a trio of youngsters to the roster after hosting an open trial, which also paved the way for Lonergan to join the coaching staff.

Wheatley and Thornberry were a part of Lonergan's Nationals side and have been in the ACT under-18s team for the past two years.

"I have this opportunity, which shows there's a strong link and a high-performance pathway in Canberra," Lonergan said.

This story Lonergan makes a Capitals leap to the WNBL first appeared on The Canberra Times.