Bulldogs guard and Florida Gulf Coast University Alumni Luke Sarafian has informed the club he is likely out for the next six months, as his recovery from a dislocated ankle (and subsequent surgery) has not quite gone to plan.
"Luke is gutted." said Coach Arron MacDonald. "He got in touch this past weekend to inform me that he'd been feeling some discomfort in his ankle, and had spoken to the surgeon and physiotherapist, who've told him to dial it right back, and that he may not be cleared for contact again for another six months."
"Given that by that time he'll have been out nearly two years, we can't just expect him to jump right into action. It's really disappointing for Luke and the club."
Sarafian is a member of the US Air Force, and is presently scheduled to leave the country after the 2018/19 season.
Coach MacDonald added "A lot of people know that our club, as it is, was founded in 1983 at King Edwards School, but before that, a lot of our players were members of the "Anglo Americans", where half of the squad were members of the US Air Force. The eligibility criteria in Suffolk changed, and let to that club disbanding, with a number of members joining what is now Bulldogs. We've always had a superb relationship with the air bases, and have had some superb players join us; Kerry Dixon, Sal Reveles, Gary Byers, Dave Zuker, Paul Clark, Gary Gaines, Kyle Gibson, Tim White, Rod Martin... they've all been amongst the very best players in our club's history."
"I'm really disappointed, not only for Luke - who I felt was in that tier of players - but also for the young players who would have gotten better training and playing with him. It's also a huge opportunity for the other players to step-up and help us to achieve our goals."
"All credit to Luke though, he's bought-in to our culture massively... the first thing I heard from him was 'If you need an extra pair of eyes, or a hand at training' and for a player to immediately think of the rest of the group when they've just got the one piece of news they were hoping not to hear... that's a really resilient person, and as much as I hope that the experts are wrong, or that his stay here gets extended, I'm confident that he can still help the club - even if he never sets foot on-court for us."
We're still looking for players across the club for the 2017/18 season. We accept boys and girls in school year 5 and up, and experienced senior players aged 17+. If you'd be interested in Becoming a Bulldog, get in touch.