Updated: Jul 27
Following the departure of Coaches Seb Benford and Rob Fisher, and with the substantial growth of the club, our coaching set-up was always going to look very different for the 2020/21 season.
Teams & Competitions:
We are pleased to announce that we will be running the following teams and sessions:
Get Back Into Basketball
Senior Men - Local League
Senior Women - Local League
Senior Men - National League
All of our junior teams will compete in the Norfolk Youth Basketball League, while our U12 Mixed side, U14 Girls, U14 Boys and U16 Boys will also participate in the regional divisions of the National League.
This season sees the debut of our Senior Women's side, who intend to compete in the Norfolk Basketball League. Our Senior Men's local league sides will again compete in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, and will establish how many sides we will be running once we get into pre-season. Our Senior Men will also once again enter the National League.
Trial dates for our teams will be announced following receipt of updated guidance from Basketball England, allowing us the opportunity to return to indoor sessions. We will then be able to confirm the training days and times for each team - as we are presently discussing court availability with our partners at Abbeycroft Leisure and Culford Sports Centre.
Our U12 Mixed sessions will be led by Coach Joanna Brawn, assisted by Abi Whiteman and apprentice coach Brandon Marshall. Coach Brawn is the current East Region Most Inspiring Female Award Winner, and an All Girls Ambassador. Coach Whiteman had a number of unbeaten seasons as a member of the junior sides at the club, before playing NBL and BUCS, as well as leading Winchester Royals into the playoffs during her debut season as a coach. Brandon Marshall is a current Wales U20 international, who is due to obtain his Coaching certification this summer. The team manager for the U12's team will be Beatriz Dominguez.
Our U14 Boys will be led by Tylan Sevendik-Burnett & McNeil Kasohnko. Ty was originally slated to be a part of the NBL Men's side last season, before injury prevented him doing so, and is due to obtain his Level 2 Coaching certification this summer, having worked to develop skills of a number of players in the past few years on a one-to-one basis. McNeil is an experienced player and coach, having recently worked within the Army U23 programme. The team manager for the U14 Boys will be Angie Williamson.
Our U14 Girls will be led by Leanne Lockwood & Alice Schute. Both Leanne and Alice are former National League players, and Leanne has significant coaching experience to lean upon. Alice is working to obtain her Level 2 Coaching certification this summer. The team manager role for the U14 Girls is presently vacant, but we anticipate filling this prior to the commencement of the season. Our U16 Girls will also participate in these sessions, with a view to entering an U16's side in the National League next season.
Our U16 Boys will be led by Hayley Rigby and Adam Maddison. Coach Rigby is a former national cup-winning Head Coach who has coached at the highest levels of junior national league as well as East Region Aspire and regional teams. Both coaches also have National League and Junior international playing experience. The team welcomes back Sam Whiteman and Louise Sparks as Team Managers.
Our U18 Men's Team has been borne out of the desire for so many of our graduating U16 Players to remain with the club, and from feedback that the jump from junior to senior basketball may be too much for some of our players. The team will be led by Tylan Sevendik-Burnett and Adam Maddison alongside Coach Sam Howard. Jacob Stephenson will be the Team Manager for the season.
Across our junior sides, our U12's, U14's and U16's will compete in both the National Basketball League and the Norfolk Youth Basketball League. We'll be assessing the performance of the U18's side (and court availability) before making a decision on entering them into the National League for the 2021/22 season.
Get Back Into Basketball will continue to run at Thurston Community Centre, and (taking on-board feedback from members that we'd rather have an earlier training time), the session will take place on Fridays from 18:00-20:00pm. It will be a requirement for anyone participating in these sessions (after an initial trial session) to register with Basketball England and affiliate with our club. The sessions will be led by Matt Moss, Sam Howard and other club coaches, supported by Matt Bullock.
Our Senior Men's Local League side will again compete in both the Suffolk and Cambs Leagues, and again be led by Coaches Glenn Collins and David Wise, as they look to build upon a successful 2019/20 season. The team will be supported by Coach Will Silkstone, who will be responsible for the strength and conditioning programme for the team, while Andrew Borkett will be the Team Manager for the side.
Our Senior Women's Local League side will look to compete in the Norfolk League this season, and will be jointly led by Leanne Lockwood and Hayley Rigby.
Lastly, our Senior Men's National League side will again be led by Coach Arron MacDonald, the current East Region Coach of the Year. Alongside Coach MacDonald will be his father, Coach Andrew MacDonald and Coach Pat Merryweather, whilst Rob Lancaster is a welcome addition to the staff as a Strength & Conditioning Coach. Lynne Quelch returns as the Team Manager.
"I'm delighted that we can bring all these coaches to the club." said Arron MacDonald. "Over the past three years, the growth of the club has been incredible, and since Hayley's been on-board, our focus has been squarely on getting the right people involved, and growing the coaching base at the club. We've worked on the development of the coaches, too, and we believe we have a fantastic base to work from, and take our club to the next level."
If you'd be interested in Becoming a Bulldog, or assisting as a Team Manager for our U14 Girls or Senior Women's side, please get in touch.