Return to core values will serve Force well

Isaac Mourier
Isaac Mourier
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We’ve used the week break to go over the core principles at the heart of Leeds Force’s identity on the court – something we’ve strayed away from in recent weeks.

We put those in place at the start of the season, and now we’re making sure that every player on the team knows all of our key philosophies.

Danny Nelson

Danny Nelson

We know from last week’s BBL Cup Final that Worcester are a team who will always come out firing and give their best right from the first seconds of play, they’re a deep team with plenty of talent.

From watching the final however, we had the privilege of seeing the Wolves’ weaknesses that we can exploit, and that’s exactly what we plan to do on Sunday at Carnegie Sports Arena (4pm).

Our main weakness in our loss to London last time out was our rebounding, so we need to make sure Worcester’s star big man Dallin Bachynski can’t dominate the boards – we have to find a way to take him out of the game.

If we can nullify what he brings to their team, they’re a lot less threatening so that’s a big focus for us this weekend.

Eric Curth

Eric Curth

We know exactly what we’re up against – they have talented players, but so do we and we’re excited to test ourselves by taking on such a powerful side with plenty of firepower at their disposal.

If anything, the heavy loss we suffered to Worcester back in December plays in our favour – we played them at a very turbulent time in our season and we had no answer for their offensive flair on the day.

I’m sure they’re thinking they can come up to Carnegie Sports Arena on Sunday and claim an easy win – that’s not going to happen.

If somehow they do win the game, it’s not going to be easy and they’re going to have to fight for every point – it’s going to be a real grudge match and we won’t back down easily.

It always helps when you have a couple of weeks to prepare in advance, we’ve had two weeks of three-hour practices which helps us to get a feel for one another as a team that’s still gelling and growing every day.

There’s been lots of team bonding, we’ve been spending plenty of time together as a unit so I think the last couple of weeks have really helped everyone become even closer here at Leeds Force.

As I say every week, having our fans out in force on game nights is absolutely crucial for us. The turnout against London was our largest yet, everyone enjoyed themselves and helped create an electric atmosphere inside the arena – we shook everyone’s hands after the game and signed lots of autographs and everybody left with a smile on their face despite the result.

We’ve got back to where we started at Leeds Force, that family environment is clear to see with the players and fans interacting with one another – we’re a tight-knit community here and we’re beginning to grow again which has been fantastic to see.

There’s no doubt in my mind that we’re going to pick up wins, every single year we’ve taken a big scalp like Leicester or Newcastle, and I don’t see why this year should be any different.

That’s it for this week’s column, I’ll be back next week to preview our huge game against Manchester Giants.

Make sure to keep supporting us, and we’re looking forward to seeing you at the arena on Sunday. #FeelTheForce

Interview: Seb Gigner