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2019/20 U18 MENS NBL PREMIER TEAM SEASON REPORT

Rockets Under 18 Premier team faced a challenging season in the Premier Central Division with a young team eager to compete against some of the best players and teams in the country.

A tough start showed plenty of promise before home victories over Ipswich and Nottingham showed the players that they could compete at the top level. There was some outstanding efforts form the team who were also short on numbers. Several games were lost in the last quarter with fatigue being a major contributor, no more so than a 2 point buzzer beating loss at Essex Rebels.

Despite the defeats several players were taking their opportunities to show they could step up to the level of play. Peter Kargbo and Lamar Garfield in their final year of junior basketball led the team excellently whilst Faaris Mughal and Amar Rupra gave the team a consistent outside threat.

With the squad thin in numbers Rockets Coach Roy Francis was able to promote several Under 16 players giving them their first test of Under 18 basketball. Several took the opportunity and gained valuable experience that will certainly help in the coming seasons.

Rockets struggled to buck the trend of fading late in games before a fine home victory over Essex Rebels gave the team much needed confidence. Lacking size the team competed so hard with academy players Lemar Tokham and Daniel Bevan showing incredible progression during the season.

By the time the season closed, Rockets had done enough to hold on to a Premier place for the 2020/21 season which they can now face with much optimism.

Head Coach Roy Francis was well supported by assistant Raj Rupra. Coach Francis commented, ‘ The league provided the players with tough challenges each week. We knew it would be a year of growth for the players but we believe we could certainly have won more games given a little more experience. The players were a pleasure to work with and I must thank Raj for his commitment and support during the year.”