Wolfpack cubs needing to learn and adapt quickly as new WBBL season gets going

PUBLISHED: 17:19 01 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:19 01 October 2019

Anneke Schluter was the top scorer for Oaklands Wolves against Leicester Riders. Picture: LELLO AMETRANO

Anneke Schluter was the top scorer for Oaklands Wolves against Leicester Riders. Picture: LELLO AMETRANO

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There needs to be a quick learning curve but Oaklands Wolves young side have got the new WBBL season off to a decent start.

Oaklands Wolves' head coach Lee Ryan. Picture: KARYN HADDONOaklands Wolves' head coach Lee Ryan. Picture: KARYN HADDON

It has been a difficult summer for the Oaklands College-based basketball team with the devastating fire and a number of high-profile departures just adding to the stress.

But Wolves head coach Lee Ryan believes that all the trials and tribulations may have taken some of the pressure to emulate last season's play-off push away from his charges.

He said: "With what we have and with the late start to the season there is no expectation right now for this group.

"We should be free to go out and explore the way and the style we want to play the game.

"But you have got to have enough conviction to be able to do that all time, whether or not you succeed or fail.

"The minute you stop doing that then there is only one outcome and that is failure.

"We don't know which one it will be yet but we have to put ourselves in a position where it could be either.

"That's what we have to teach this young group very quickly."

The two games, both played at the Essex Sport Arena as part of a showcase opening weekend, were two very different contests.

The first pitted them against a Leicester Riders squad that Ryan says are "expected to lift all the silverware".

But it was only in the second half that Leicester finally snapped the resistance, going on to win 90-58, and two days later Oaklands got their reward with a 63-51 success against Cardiff Met Archers.

Ryan said: "The journey goal is to see how much we can improve over the season but we're greedy and we want to see how much we can get better by the next game and then the next game.

"We're still learning and the weekend was about finding out who we are and what we are about.

"The way to figure that out is to be the best version of you as possible and then work out if it is good enough or not.

"We can then make adjustments and changes as needed.

"Considering our situation I'm delighted with certain periods against a very good Leicester team.

"We are ahead of the curve and ironically ahead of where we were last year.

"But the lesson we have to learn is to be able to do it all the time."

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