> Disappointed 09/10 season hasn’t dampened teams’ spirit

Following their disappointing Varsity defeats at the hands of Bristol last year, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams are preparing to regroup and start afresh on the cusp of a season that offers an opportunity for revenge.

On behalf of the men’s team Nick Kimber claims that last season was ‘plagued with difficulties’, the most notable of which involved the head coach leaving his post halfway through the campaign. Thankfully they were able to enlist the help of Bristol Academy Flyers starting bigman Davis Bowne, but the unsettled team were unable to find form and consequently found themselves in the relegation zone come the end of the season.

Though the women’s season ended in similar fashion, Lauren Buchanan cites a ‘lack of dedication to training’ as the cause. This wasn’t helped by the fact that the women’s team was forced to train away from the campus gym, which Lauren claims made players ‘less passionate about playing for their university’ and reduced any home advantage that may have been established by training on their own court.

Both teams have decidedly put these difficulties behind them during the offseason however, and are considering the new campaigns in a positive manner. For instance Kimber claims ‘this season is shaping up to be a different story’ as ‘the 3 remaining players carried over from last year, myself, Albert Pomeroy and Greg Thomson, are joined by returning veterans George Ashwell, Marc Bell and Alex Akande as well as a plethora of exciting, athletic new talent intent on outrunning, outhustling and generally dominating whoever comes our way.’

Buchanan has a similar take on the season ahead of the women’s team, claiming ‘This year will be different. We want all players to play games, members to learn tactics and learn about the strengths of each player. Our fitness shall improve and as we’re going to be training at the Centre for Sport fresher’s can also get involved’.

These positive approaches will undoubtedly serve both teams well as the season unfolds. The men will be hoping to avoid the kind of misfortunes experienced last season, while the women will be looking forward to practicing on their home court at the Centre of Sport, and, if everything goes to plan we might be able to celebrate two UWE basketball Varsity victories come next spring.

Sean Guest