Tanner Krebs has been a revelation for Melbourne United since crossing over from the Brisbane Bullets in the off-season.
The Tasmanian proved vital once again with the help of a Chris Goulding masterclass, as an undermanned Melbourne United defeated the Illawarra Hawks at John Cain Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Krebs played 68 games over his time in Brisbane, and at times struggled to get continuity in his body and performance.
After spending the past three seasons with the Bullets, Krebs sought a fresh opportunity in free agency making the move to United.
“I’m ready to take the next step in my career. I showed signs of that last season before I got hurt, so I’m really looking forward to putting in the work to put myself in a position to help the club be successful,” Krebs said after signing with United.
“I could tell from the start of free agency that United really wanted me. It’s a big city in a big market, so I can’t wait to experience playing at John Cain Arena in front of our fans.”
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Upon being signed by Melbourne, head coach Dean Vickerman expressed his excitement at the opportunity to work with the on-the-rise 27-year-old.
“Tanner is a guy coming into his physical prime who has only got better and stronger during his time in the league,” Vickerman said.
“We like the shooting he brings; we envisage him being a real stretch option, shooting on the move.
“I think there’s a bit of a dog in him. He wants those tough assignments and wants to lock people up defensively. We feel he’s a really good two-way player.”Embed from Getty Images
In United’s opening nine games, Krebs has been a solid contributor off the bench but got his chance in the starting five in the absence of Ian Clark and Matthew Dellavedova.
He stepped into the role with aplomb, knocking down shots early, setting the tone for another Melbourne United victory.
The versatile forward looked at home in the starting five, finishing the game with 14 points, four assists and a steal in an industrious performance.
Post-match Krebs said the victory was vital and that it puts the team in a great position moving forward, while attributing the success to the group’s strong mentality and will to win.
“It’s huge, it puts us in a good spot. We take the season to be quarters and now we’re 2-0 this quarter. So, big win obviously ‘IC’ (Ian Clark) down, no ‘Delly’ (Dellavedova), that next man up mentality and I thought everyone really contributed tonight to get us this win,” he said.
He also applauded the work of the coaches in helping to get through a stretch of six games within 16 days.
“It’s just testament to our coaching staff prepping us for these games, you know, playing on a Friday and then backing up on a Sunday is really tough,” he said.
“We had a really good game plan going into Friday and we had a really good game plan coming in tonight. So, credit to the coaching staff for getting us ready.”
“Every time I look into the rafters this place is packed, it’s so much fun coming out here and playing, I love it, I love playing here.“