Injured Brignell Proud to Captain Wasps

02/09/2011 23:26

Former Hull Wasps Head-Coach John Brignell has spoken of his excitement ahead of the new season. 6'8" Centre and new Wasps captain Brignell, will miss this Saturday's Yorkshire Shield clash against Huddersfield Heat with a back strain.

His new regular column for the season - "Captain's Log" was due to feature in the first game-night magazine of the season but after pulling out of the fixture through injury, Andrew Marr is set to step in as captain for the game and hence his article has taken it's place. Hull Wasps Official Website has the column to feature here.

So here we are fans, it’s the first of the preseason exhibition matches against the mighty Huddersfield Heat. They won the league last year, and are now preparing for their run at National League Division 3. And contrary to popular belief, they are not a one-man team, never have been.

How’s the off-season been? Well, as you know, I stepped down from the head-coaching role at the end of last season, but I am pleased to be back, focussing on playing, and working with the new coaching staff as Captain of your Hull Wasps 2011-2012!

Unfortunately, I have had an acute back strain, which has forced me onto the sidelines for the next few weeks. I believe the stand-in Captain Andy Marr will be sharing his thoughts on the day, but I thought I’d put a little something together for our online fans.

First and foremost, I was delighted to hear about the new appointments made for the Head and Assistant Coaching roles. I have a great deal of respect for Coach Fawcett. His enthusiasm and determination when it comes to basketball are second to none. I’m sure the fans of the club will have seen this on display whenever he steps on court.

For me, his real strength is his pragmatism. He will study night after night, analysing the game, the team, but he just knows what will work in practice, what won’t, how we’ll apply it as a team and how to deliver the training. It’s a skill I really believe will serve him well in a long and successful career as a basketball head coach.

Coach Crawford is all about the little things. He’s always picking up when we don’t communicate on defence, don’t get our hands up in a shooters face, when we commit turnovers, rebounds we miss, players not giving their best, everything… He misses nothing, and between them, we have a great coaching unit that can take this team to the next level and beyond.

What’s great about this season is that squad selection happened three months ago, and the Fawcett-Crawford coaching plan was put in place nice and early. It has been a rigorous pre-season, with plenty of fitness, drills and teamwork. Our concise offensive system has been implemented, as has our defensive philosophy.

The amount of preparation that goes into this team is immense and very detailed. This, together with the firm foundations in place, will really benefit us as the season moves on. We’ll have a greater propensity to adapt to both external and internal factors.

Internally, we have a reasonable spread of age and experience, but I would say we are younger than previous seasons, and the learning curve will be steep as we hit the early season campaign. We are a deep squad, and I hope this can be maintained as the season goes on because it will be crucial. Depth is so important; no team should be reliant on one player, and the ability to mix it up, together with our solid offensive system, should breakdown most defences at this level.

Externally, the league looks very different from last year; we’ve lost quite a number of those teams and see the arrival of some brand new ones. We also welcome a couple of teams from Bradford who join us from Division 3. Really, we are in the dark about what we can expect this season, but our adaptive strength will be a key factor for success in the 2011-2012 campaign.

As with every sport, a tough preseason run is great for establishing game fitness and form, and it will give us a more complete picture of where our strengths and weaknesses are come the start of the season. I know the Huddersfield match will be tough, I wish I could be on court, but my fight is another day and I will be hungry for that.

I hope you are all as excited about the upcoming season as I am, I’m proud to be Captaining this team and working and playing hard for you: the fans.

Watch out for the number 12 jersey (I wonder who’ll be wearing it this weekend)!

See you all soon.

John Brignell  #12