Oaklands Wolves looking to 'make a mark' in new WBBL season after tough debut
PUBLISHED: 16:30 12 October 2017
After a tough debut season in the top flight of women's basketball Oaklands Wolves have set their sights on a top eight finish this year.
The Oaklands College-based side were one of two new teams admitted to the Women’s British Basketball League (WBBL) last year but failed to win a match in the league, although there was better luck in the cup competitions.
But the league has expanded further this team around with the inclusion of Durham Palatinates and according to head coach Lee Ryan that, coupled with the experience of the previous campaign, should be enough to propel the Wolfpack to a much-more successful season.
He said: “Last season was always going to be a challenge, we knew that going into our first season in the WBBL.
“It is a very strong professional league and as a junior based academy we had no expectations of winning in year one.
“However to not get a single win throughout the season was disappointing as the players deserved to see a result based on their efforts.
“Its true we did learn how to compete and the results in the second half of the season showed the improvement in the team.
“We continue to believe investing in youth is the right direction for Oaklands Wolves, but we have done more to support them this season and I can see us making a mark this campaign.
“For us to finish in the top eight would be good progress this season.”
Coach Ryan, who is now in sole charge of team affairs after the departure of Kendrick Liburd, has been busy in the off-season, signing a number of high-calibre players.
In come GB internationals Beth Sarson and Lauren Milligan, both former Oaklands Academy players, as was Lizzy Harrison who is back after playing the second half of last year.
International players arriving are American Rachel Morris, Canadian Kellie Ring and Spanish forward Ester Pajuelo Vazquez.
The club are also working hard to promote themselves in the community and have already started a school’s programme.
Games take place on Saturday’s at 3.45pm with admission priced at £2 for adults and £1 for U16s and concessions.
And they are at home this week with the undefeated Sevenoaks Suns the visitors.