Matt Newby feels the arrival of Sam Attah has given Leeds Force a lift, as they prepare to host Manchester Giants in a key BBL Championship clash.
Attah’s impressive debut earlier this month helped Force overcome Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Sharks, a victory which has some including the BBL newcomers in contention for the Play-offs.
But if Newby’s men are to challenge for a top-eight spot, the head-to-head against Manchester Giants could be pivotal, and having a player of Attah’s attitude, as well as ability, certainly helps.
“Sam has been fantastic,” said Newby.
“He is a level-headed guy, who just wants to give his best for the team and if that means he takes more responsibility on one night then he does, if it means that he has to defer, then he does.
“We need someone who is going to buy into the ethos of the team and understand that we are in our infancy and building towards a bigger and brighter future, and Sam gets that.”
Force got the victory when they faced Giants in the BBL Cup earlier this season, but Friday will be their first Championship meeting – and Newby expects an even tougher challenge, with perhaps greater significance.
Newby added: “This series is one of the most important for us.
“We had a very positive experience against them in the Cup. I think they will have moved on considerably since then and their performances will reflect that.
“They are deep and have a lot of domestic talent. You have got to like Ben Eaves, you have got to like Stef Gill and David Watts and what they bring to the table, and have done for a number of years.”