Search

Basketball: General manager Dave Ryan insists Essex Leopards will win promotion next season after relegation from NBL Division One

PUBLISHED: 13:00 20 March 2017

New Essex Leopards coach Tom Baker (pic Emma Marshall)

New Essex Leopards coach Tom Baker (pic Emma Marshall)

© 2013 Emma Marshall

A buzzer-beater on Sunday means Big Cats will be in NBL Division Two next season for first time in history

Essex Leopards new coach Tom Baker talks to his players as Roger Malpass looks on (pic Paul Phillips)Essex Leopards new coach Tom Baker talks to his players as Roger Malpass looks on (pic Paul Phillips)

General manager Dave Ryan has vowed Essex Leopards will bounce back after a heart-breaking weekend saw them relegated from NBL Division One.

Saturday saw Leopards lead for 39 of the 40 minutes in regulation time at London Lituanica before losing 88-83 in double overtime.

The following day a buzzer-beater saw them go down 83-82 at Lancashire Spinners, which confirmed relegation.

The Big Cats now face their first season in Division Two in their 13-year history, but Ryan is determined that his side will make a swift return to the top flight:

“It’s absolutely shattering” he admitted. “I can’t fault the players for their effort in the last three games since we had to change coach, they gave everything, but we came up just short both times.

“The atmosphere in the locker room afterwards was unbelievable, it’s easy to exaggerate things, but it was like someone died.

“We’d already spent a lot of time building for next season, making changes we felt were necessary and trying to improve things on the court.

“It’s not arrogant to say we have had the best game-day experience in Division One this season.

“All the work a lot of people have put in has paid off in that respect with the biggest crowds in the league and reaching the point we had to turn kids away from the pre-game coaching because there was too many of them to fit on the court.

“Now we have to make sure that not only do we have the best club in Division Two, but we also have the best team and come straight back with silverware.

Ryan had praise for new coach Thomas Baker who stepped in after Leopards and Steve Ogunjimi agreed to part company a fortnight ago.

“Tom’s been great. Talk about being chucked in the deep end without armbands, but he’s been up to the challenge,” he added.

“Ultimately three season-ending injuries to players who would’ve been starting killed us.

“We’ll sit down and talk with Oaklands about next season, our partnership with them is vital to our club and will only make us better.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford Sports News

17:00

Crow Lane club’s talented under-11s also catch the eye at Essex Mini Festival last Sunday at Westcliff

Wales international is given Scottish hero’s nickname

16:00

Brentwood Town 0 Concord Rangers 2

14:00

Daggers fan Daniel Law is writing a blog during the 2016-17 season

Madroc UK’s Simon Parker full of praise for local talent after impressing throughout the weekend in Cumbria

10:30

Urchins turned in a flat display on a disappointing night away to Fleet

08:29

Daggers stopper Mark Cousins replaced rival Elliot Justham between the sticks at Wrexham

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now