Exciting times for Ipswich Basketball Club as glamour friendly secured
PUBLISHED: 11:06 21 June 2016 | UPDATED: 11:06 21 June 2016
Head coach Nick Drane says these are exciting times for Ipswich Basketball Club.
The man who has overseen two promotions, followed by three near misses when it has come to attempting the final jump to the top-flight, believes he is close to assembling his best ever Tomcats squad.
And there is also the prospect of a glamour pre-season friendly to look forward to, a USA Select team made up of College graduates confirming that they will be visiting Copleston High School on September 12 as part of a big European tour.
“We’ve finished third, third and fifth in Division Two and, if I’m being honest, last season was a transitional period of us,” explained Drane.
“A couple of great servants to the club were not quite at the same level, so we parted ways with them and started planning for the future.
“I’ve been saying every pre-season ‘we are going to get promoted this time’, so I won’t put that pressure on my players again – but what I will say is that I am confident that the team I am looking to put on the floor will be the best I’ve ever had.
“Leigh Greenan has had surgery on the knee problem which has plagued him for the last 18 months and the bottom line is that he is the biggest, baddest player in this league when fully fit. Having him back is the ultimate summer signing.
“All my main players are returning with the exception of Sam Newman, who is going to university in Canada. I essentially put an advert out looking for a replacement and the response has been phenomenal.
“I must have had 30 to 40 applicants, we’ve whittled that down to four and it’s now about deciding who is the best fit for Ipswich Basketball Club.
“They will not only have to be good players for this level, but also understand the history of this unique small town club and the responsibilities that we expect senior players to take on.
“It might be someone looking to drop down a level and make a name for themselves or someone in this league looking for a change. This process is really fun for me as a coach. Having built this team on local talent for so long, it’s exciting to think that we can begin recruiting to take us to that next level.”
He added: “Securing the USA Select match is another sign of just how far we’ve come and further enhances our reputation.
“It’s also worth pointing out that we have 11 junior players – boys and girls – in various international age-group teams. That’s more than many of the clubs from the big cities. I really think we are on the cusp of something special here.”