Danny Nelson insists Leeds Force have a lot to be proud of ahead of the final two games of a disastrous BBL campaign for the league’s basement side this weekend.
An injury-hit Force stumble into their penultimate clash on the road against Bristol Flyers tonight (7:30PM) and the curtain-closer at home to champions Leicester Riders (4PM) on Sunday with only five fully-fit players.
Force have followed up their first and only win of the season against Manchester Giants in November with 25 consecutive league defeats, and Nelson isn’t expecting it to get any easier against two high-flying teams.
“We just need to tough through it – we have a lot of injuries but we’re fighting, and we want to register a competitive result,” Nelson said. “We ran out of depth last week, it’s a fast-paced physical game and we don’t have much of a bench right now so it’s a big challenge for us.”
A reflective Nelson hailed his squad for their resilience, having inherited a hurriedly-assembled and thread-bare squad only two weeks prior to the season’s start following a turbulent and chaotic off-season change of ownership.
“We’ve got a lot of things to be proud of this year – the BBL is a fast-growing league and for us to survive this year in difficult circumstances is a credit to everyone.
“It’s a benefit to the league to have a team in the city of Leeds, and we’ve been one of the best at introducing and developing young British players into the talent pool across the season.
“There’s something special in place here – we’ve laid foundations for the future and, whatever happens next, if we had quit then we’d have let the city down, but we never gave up and basketball has a bright future in Leeds.”
The Irishman offered a final word of praise for the loyal Force fanbase, and is hoping to see supporters turn out in their numbers against Leicester on Sunday.
Nelson said: “It’s been a fantastic effort from the fans to keep coming back, I’ve met a lot of them and they’ve been so positive and supporting of our guys. They encouraged us all year long, and we really appreciate their efforts, we look forward to seeing them at the arena on Sunday and they can be proud of their contribution to everything Leeds basketball.”