Ipswich basketball coach insists club will bounce back after promotion rejection

Ipswich head coach Nick Drane speaks to his players against Derby in the EBL Play-off Final

Ipswich head coach Nick Drane speaks to his players against Derby in the EBL Play-off Final - Credit: Archant

English Basketball’s decision to reject Ipswich’s application for promotion to Division One will make the Copleston-based team doubly determined to win Division Two next season.

Coach Nick Drane hoped his side’s third-place finish, plus losing final appearances in the Patrons Cup and the end-of-season play-offs, would strengthen their case for a place in a reshuffled Division One next season.

However, with a second season at Division Two level beckoning, Ipswich are now intent on finishing next year as league champions.

“We are disappointed because we feel that we have had quite an exceptional season,” said Drane, whose side finished below Huddersfield and Derby, who were promoted automatically.

“The reality is that we finished out of the top-two in Division Two and no matter how much people say we should have gone up, we didn’t deserve to.

“I think English Basketball may have thought they could have been opening a can of worms by promoting us and it just makes us more determined to go up next year.

“The team on the floor next season will be even better.

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“We definitely have a point to prove and the likes of Tom (Sadler) and Leigh (Greenan) are very motivated to show that we should have gone up and they are keyed in to return to pre-season already.”

Ipswich’s ascent up the divisional structure and achievements this season will make the club an attractive proposition to potential players, ahead of the new campaign, in a league that will see the additions of London Lituanica, Lancashire Spinners and the Birmingham Mets.

“A lot of players want to be associated with us and our level of professionalism on and off the floor,” Drane added.

“We would have been a more attractive option had we gone up but I spoke to one Division One coach who said all of his senior players were on over £500 a month.

“We don’t do that and being in Division Two gives us another season to build towards that kind of thing.”

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