General manager James Brice believes Cheshire Phoenix are reaping the rewards of a productive summer recruitment drive as they head into a huge period in their season, writes Tom White.
The Nix have made a solid start to the BBL Championship campaign and have a two-legged BBL Cup semi-final with London Lions to look forward to at the start of next month.
And Brice is confident that the changes they have made to the squad have been positive and feels they are on course to achieve a minimum target of qualifying for the play-offs after missing out last season.
He said: “We recruited differently in the summer as last year was not good.
“We had a big turnover of players and we had a couple of coaches that came and went. We worked hard in the summer to recruit differently and we think we have done that.
“We’ve had some really good results so far, we are in the Cup semi-final and our league form is okay. We’ve got some games in hand so we are confident that we will make the play offs.”
New additions like captain Orlan Jackman have been influential as the Nix look to blend youth with experience.
But, ahead of tonight’s Championship clash at home to Leeds Force (November 26, 5.30pm), Brice also has words of praise for coach Ben Thomas.
Thomas helped steady the ship toward the end of last season and has so far justified the faith placed in him as he looks to make his mark in his first full campaign in charge.
Brice said: “He’s a young coach with fresh ideas and we’ve had a good start to the season. It’s so far, so good.
“I do see this group pushing up the table. They’re a good bunch on and off the court. The league is so competitive, anyone can beat anyone and that’s also exciting.
“We want to make the top five or six. We know we are not near Newcastle and Leicester because they are really up there. They’ve developed that over the last 10 years and that’s what we want, too. We need to aim for that kind of consistency.”
* This article was first published in the Chester Chronicle
Image courtesy of @CheshireNix / Twitter