Ilkeston Outlaws Under 18 Team Announced!
The Ilkeston Outlaws Under 18’s have seen a massive transformation since last season, arguably the biggest of all the teams within the club!
With last year’s coach Darren Roberts moving to the under 14 team, Coach Nigel Surgay will be leading the under 18 campaign for the 2017-18 season. Last year saw Coach Surgay assisting at under 18’s as well as running the “Youth Basketball Skills Development” program on Thursday’s at Broomfield where players from all teams were able to participate in individual and team basketball development. His hard work was recognised last year as Coach Surgay was asked to represent Derbyshire as the county coach.
Every year sees a transition at the U18 level where the senior players go off to university, get jobs or simply become too old to play for the squad any more. This year is no exception as there are only 2 remaining Outlaws under 18’s returning for the 2017-18 campaign in Jack Batty and Ben Gorse
”Jack and Ben will need to be the calming influence the younger players will need going into big games. They have both experienced the difference in the speed and quality of the game at the higher age groups, so need to step up and help steady the ship”.
As well as the returning players, last years under 16 defensive player of the year Taii Francis will be stepping up to the plate. Taii played for the under 18’s last year as a 15 year old, however this year he will be a fully fledged under 18 player.
” After a relatively late introduction to playing basketball, Taii’s hard work and commitment is beginning to reap the rewards. His overall improvement is rapidly making him a force to be reckoned with in the league and has seen him through the selection process for County, Region and all the way to making the England “New Horizons” camps a year early.” – Coach Surgay
Returning to the Outlaws fold after playing their final year at U16 for Mansfield Giants are former U16’s national league players Cameron Hearne and Toby Cooper. Both players played significant parts in the success of the Mansfield squads they represented in the premier and conference divisions respectively.
Also returning to the club after playing his final year at U16 with the Outlaws’ local rivals the Nottingham Hoodz, is former U16’s national league player Ethan Shipstone who also played a part in the Hoodz success last year. Showing that the Outlaws basketball program is developing young talent that can make an impression wherever they play.
” Cameron, Toby and Ethan have become close friends and a tight basketball unit over the past few years, so to see them split over three squads last season made me feel a little sad. I was lucky enough to see them all play during the season and make a difference to the team they were representing. I’m sure they have all benefited from their experience, and I am really looking forward to getting the squad back together to start our U18 campaign this season. ” – Coach Surgay
Also stepping up to the plate are a long list of Ilkeston under 16 alumni. Last years under 16’s captain Lewis King will be bringing the same leadership qualities that he gave to the team last year to the under 18’s, along with Callum Lee and Matt Brown who will be vital part showcasing the Outlaws grit ‘n’ grind.
” Last season, as Captain of the U16’s squad, Lewis overcame a lot of adversity by holding the team together, leading by example and staying positive and motivated through a difficult season. With 80% of the squad entering into their rookie year at U18, those qualities will be valuable assets going forward. Our other squad members will need to mature quickly as we have a challenging season ahead of us but one I believe everyone will enjoy. ” – Coach Surgay
The under 18 campaign this year will feature players that have represented both the East Midlands nationally and trained with the England international squad. Giving the new under 18’s some real talent to leave a stamp on the rest of the league both this season and next.
2 players who were under 18’s last year, this under 18 team seems inexperienced on paper. However the team hopes to cause a stir in the National League by showcasing the mindset that Coach Surgay will bring to the table.
” Since Easter and throughout the summer, we have held over 10 camps focusing on individual player development. While in our squad training we have been working towards our team goals and strategy for the coming season. Every player knows exactly what I expect from them and, more importantly, what they can expect from me.
Individual and team fitness programs have been put in place, and our Thursday S&C session in the fitness suite are also helping us realize our long term goals to become fitter, faster and stronger.
As for our squad’s expectations for this rookie season at U18, we have our feet firmly on the ground, but I know we will give 100% and compete well against the teams in our league. This also gives us the opportunity to benefit from the experience, regroup, grow and mature for the final season where we intend to achieve the highest rewards we possibly can. ” – Coach Surgay
Lewis King (captain)
Head Coach: Nigel Surgay
Assistant Coaches: Liam Hayman Tansley, Trevor Francis
The Outlaws first game in the Basketball England NBL East Midlands region is on Saturday the 7th of October away at:
Nottingham Junior Hood
Nottingham Wildcat Arena