Leeds Force have to fight and that’s what we plan to do in our final two games – our head coach Danny Nelson is keeping us positive and it’s vital we maintain that mindset heading into this weekend and the off-season ahead.
We’re all excited take on Bristol in our final road game of the year on Friday – I’m from the south west so I have lots of friends and family from the area and it’s always nice to head back there.
The guys aren’t daunted by the prospect of Bristol, it’s just about making sure they play the game at our pace.
We only lost by eight points last time we played them, so we know we can compete against this team and we’re looking forward to the challenge.
We only had six healthy players last week, whilst our opposition Plymouth had double that available and quite honestly it would’ve been a worrying sign for them had they not pulled away in the third quarter.
We battled bravely, stayed in it and gave a decent account of ourselves – it’s the best we’ve played in quite a while.
Both of our big guys Gazmend Sinani and Mo Williams are great athletes, great professionals and great guys – that’s what you want and everything you need and value in a team-mate.
The reality is however that they’ll both get great offers from high-pedigree teams elsewhere in the world – we’d love to keep them, but they’ve been showing out and proving they’re elite at this level, so we wish them well when they rightly move on to an improved tier of basketball next season. We’ve seen all year how both Aidan Appleyard and George Brownell have improved in each game they’ve played, and they clearly both have very bright futures too.
There’s no reason to be worried or scared about having to face Leicester in our final game of the year at home on Sunday, since we matched them well at times a week ago. We weren’t at all surprised by our success against the Riders in the first half – they may be the league champions, but we caught them out when they showed complacency.
We made them realise that Leeds Force are not a joke and forced them to turn up their effort levels drastically in the second half which we’re proud of.
Carnegie Sports Arena is quite a special place for me, I’ve had a lot of great experiences in that building and it will be a good opportunity to finish the season there in front of the Leeds fans.
Whatever happens – even if it was to be the last Leeds Force game ever – then it would be a fitting way to end at home and we’ll be hoping to put on a show as best we can.
I started here in Leeds four years ago, and at first, I didn’t play on the team at all.
I hustled with a chip on my shoulder to get into the position I am in now as club captain and team leader – but I know there’s a long way to go in my development before I reach my goals as a player.
This team allowed me to build my confidence as a professional and helped shape me into a player that can play anywhere on the court and have an impact.
That’s it for this week’s Leeds Force column, thanks for reading and we really hope to see you out in Force at Carnegie Sports Arena on Sunday (4pm) for our final game of the year against the champions Leicester Riders.