D1: Trailblazers set to renew rivalry against Essex Leopards
Although not a local derby, there’s always been a good rivalry in matches between Derby Trailblazers and Essex Leopards, possibly because the two clubs have often been neck-a-neck in the league title race.
However, ahead of this Saturday night’s game, the current league table show the clubs are almost as far apart as they could be. Derby are top of the NBL D1 League Table and unbeaten in all competitions, while Leopards are second from bottom and are yet to pick up their first league win.
But Derby’s Assistant Coach and Performance Analyst Michael Hanson Morris says the match is unlikely to be as one-sided as the league table might suggest:
“Essex may have struggled for form so far this season, but we’re well aware of the talent the roster has and the potential of their side if things come together. We fully expect their loss in the cup against Kent last weekend to spark up a reaction and perhaps an upturn in their performances.
“The best thing we can do is to try and produce another fast start and not let them the build any momentum and confidence. Once they get on a roll they can be a very tricky team to face as we saw last year.
“This week has been a really valuable week for our development as a team. We’ve taken the time to reflect on a busy month we’ve just had and as a group, we’ve identified a number of areas we want to improve on.
“Many of those translate to things we’ve done well at various times but have perhaps been too inconsistent with at other times. This week is our first opportunity to try and turn those shorter periods into a longer forty minute display.
“It’s very easy to be excited about the start we’ve had to the current season. However, the way we have approached our evaluation as coaches has given us a great deal of confidence. Everyone understands we have a lot of room to improve our potential both as individuals and a team.
“We firmly believe our best basketball is still ahead of us. Not just in the coming days, but months down the line too.
“To keep our current momentum going would be very nice, but ultimately it’s the performances that will end up dictating the outcome of our season. We’re therefore looking forward to another opportunity to continue our growth in front of our brilliant home crowd tonight,” he said.
The full line up of game for the weekend is as follows:
D1 Men: Derby Trailblazers v Essex Leopards; 7:15pm at Clarence Wiggins Sports Centre
D4 Men: Kings Lynn Fury v Derby Trailblazers II; 6:00pm at Lynn Sport
U18M Prem: Manchester Magic v Derby Trailblazers; 1pm at ABC, Manchester
U16 Girls: Derby Trailblazers v Barrow Thorns; 2pm at Clarence Wiggins Sports Centre
U14 Boys: Leicester Warriors v Derby Trailblazers; 5:30pm at Gateway College
U14 Girls: Lancashire Spinners Bury v Derby Trailblazers; 12:30pm at Elton High School
U18M Conf: Derby Trailblazers II v Leicester Dynamite; 2:15pm at Clarence Wiggins Sports Centre
U16 Boys: Derby Trailblazers v Bournville Bears; 12:15pm at Clarence Wiggins Sports Centre
Game photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/derbytrailblazersbasketball/albums
Live updates for most games can be found by following www.facebook.com/derbytrailblazersclub or @derbyblazers on Twitter. All the latest news is also online at www.derbytrailblazers.com