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Coaching Report (2004/5)

Hucknall Junior basketball club has grown in strength and has become a major force to be reckoned within Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. We compete and win in the correct spirit doing things right off the court as well as on the court. We have established a relationship within Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire for excellence. The challenge is to keep it going!

Firstly, let me say a big thank you to all the parents and supporters of the club, without your support and enthusiasm we would not have a thriving club. I know the players really appreciate all the support, both emotional and financial that you give them. Even if all you get is a grunt from those teenage boys in acknowledgment sometimes. Each player is only as good as the support they receive from you. So once again thank you.

Also, let me thank the committee and team managers who have done an outstanding job behind the scenes ensuring everything runs smoothly and with minimum fuss. These people are the really the life and soul of the club. Without them we would have no club and myself and the coaching staff are really grateful for all you. I know Karen Marshall, Phil Jackson and Lorraine Osbome, have been exceptional this year and their achievements were also recognised by the Sherwood League.

All three teams have competed with great flair and determination showing a high level of teamwork, skill and commitment. What is great to see is that it is through mainly home grown talent. Talent that has developed through the existing club structure. That is something we should be very proud of. The under 14s have a great playing record and what they lack in height they make up for in teamwork and skill. The Hornets have only lost two games all season and have proved them-selves to be the best team in the league, playing hard for each other at both ends of the court. What has been really impressive is their ability t learn and put into practice simple skills at a very high speed. Despite being the smallest team in the league they have played like giants and I am proud of them.

The Hornet's best performance was against North Midlands basketball club, a national league team consisting of an England player and one Midlands player. Despite this HJBC dominated the game and came away with the victory. It just shows that a group of players all fighting for the same cause can beat a group of individual; playing for them-selves. HJBC restricted the England player to only 2 points. And with the victory secured the league title for the second year running. Fantastic effort guys and all the hard work and running at practice was well worth it. Well done!

The ongoing challenge for this group of players is to keep working hard and develop into the best they possibly can be.

The under 16s have also achieved success this year. With a few new faces in the squad the team took time to gel as a unit. This was an ongoing project throughout the season. But thanks to the hard work of the players a practice this did not become a major problem. The team has also had some problems attacking a zone defence but this also improved as the season progressed.

Despite these factors this talented group of players became stronger as the season progressed. I was especially happy with the increasing maturity been shown by the players on court and willingness to play the role they were assigned. Each player performed his role to the best of their ability. This was a major reason for our success. The Hawks have only lost two games all season and have beaten teams that are of National League Standard and teams that have England players on there roster. That said next year our nearest rivals will be NYBC as they are much improved and have City Council backing so lets not ease off. Continue to work hard and lets raise the high standard of skill we have shown this season.

My challenge to the Hawks though is too be more ruthless and tough. Continue to play hard whatever the opposition and don't ease off just because the score say's you are Winning.

So what for next season and beyond for HJBC?

I have inherited a good set of year 7 players for next season's under 14 competition and together with the remaining year 8 players they look a strong unit. Lets hope the summer league gives them an opportunity to develop as a team, as players and people. I must say I am looking forward to the challenge. The under 16s will also be strong and I hope some of the year 9 players can force their way into the team I know they have the talent to do so.

The club still needs to encourage new players from Hucknall and surrounding areas. They are the future. I am sure Adam McGrory has some ideas and comments on this matter and will leave the mini-development of the club up to him.

My area for the future would be and Under 18s team or Men's team. At present going into next season we have 6 club members that are eligible for the under 18 competition. It also important to realise that there is a high drop out from sport at the age of 16-18 so lets at least give these players an opportunity to continue in sport they enjoy. I am not sure how we would organise training or matches but I am sure we can work something out.

Anyway, let me finish by saying Thank you and well done for the year's effort. We have been a success both on and off the court and long may it continue. Lets go on and aim to be stronger than ever before.

Martin Richardson.

Congratulations to Helen Marshall on gaining her Grade 3 Table Officials Qualification. Peter Marshall and Max Osbourne on gaining Grade 2 Table official Qualification. Ryan Jackson on Gaining Grade 2 Refereeing Qualification.

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