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Essex Leopards sign guard Will Ashby ahead of season opener

PUBLISHED: 14:03 13 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:03 13 September 2017

Will Ashby in action for the Essex Leopards against Reading Rockets in pre-season (Pic: Paul Phillips)

Will Ashby in action for the Essex Leopards against Reading Rockets in pre-season (Pic: Paul Phillips)

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Essex Levett Leopards have strengthened their roster ahead of Sunday’s opener against Nottingham Hoods at the Brentwood Centre with the addition of guard Will Ashby.

The Brentwood-based player joins the Big Cats for the third time having started last season with BBL side London Lions before moving on to Spanish club Roquette Benifaio.

The 25-year-old started his career as a junior with Brentwood Fire, playing a season on dual registration terms with the Big Cats.

After a season in Division Four with Newham Nepturnes’ B team he helped their first team win Division Two and reach the play-offs in their first season in the top flight.

He rejoined the Leopards in the summer of 2014 and won the club’s Most Valuable Player award as the Big Cats stormed to the Division One title.

Coach Thomas Baker said: “Adding someone of Will’s quality is something I’m really pleased with.

“I know he has been part of this club before and everyone is excited to have him back.

“In pre-season Will demonstrated his ability to shoot the three and play relentless defence on numerous occasions, adding to the quality we already have in the team.

“Having had conversations with Will over the past few weeks he is 100 per cent invested in bringing success to the team and we are in for an exciting season ahead and I am looking forward to starting this weekend.”

Ashby added: “I’m excited to be coming back to Leopards after a year away.

“It’s great to be a part of a really strong young team who have their goals set on silverware and promotion.

“It will be a great year and I look forward to be playing in front of the Essex fans again in my hometown.”

The Big Cats are hopeful that Ashby’s international clearance will be received in time for Sunday’s Patron’s Cup game against Nottingham - tips off at 4pm at the Brentwood Centre.

Following the club success in their pre-season campaign they will be keen to get off to a winning start after beating Team USA Whites 86-71 at Oaklands College.

The Leopards lost their second match with Team USA 71-62 at home before also beating the Reading Rockets 90-80 in their final pre-season fixture.

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