Wasps Looking For Opening Dragons Win
The long wait is nearly over, this weekend Hull Wasps tip off the National League Division 4 season away at Bradford Dragons II, a season that promises to be the most exciting in Wasps history.
Coach Matt Fawcett has assembled what he considers to be the most exciting squad in the Wasps five year reign and is targeting the league championship as this season’s goal with nothing less than promotion being acceptable.
The Wasps have a new look side this season with six new faces recruited to replace the leavers from last season. Gone from last season’s team are Simon Coker, Jason Munro, Chris Cummings, Soloman Ojapah, Rob Birchmore, Liam Lacey and John Brignell. The loss of the talismanic John Brignell was naturally deemed at first to be a massive blow to coach Fawcett's ambitions, however using his extensive links and knowledge of the local and surrounding areas basketball scene coach Fawcett has boosted Wasps squad with an exciting and experienced crop of new talent.
Matt Wilson, a 6'6" centre from the Doncaster league will use his awesome physique to dominate the paint, and offset the loss of Brignell, whilst also possessing a soft touch around the basket he is sure to become a fans’ favourite.
The return of Neil Rymer a 5'10" shooting guard, who holds the honour of having the 2nd highest single game points record for Hull Wasps of 34, bolsters the offensive threat as will the addition of Ben Burns a 6'2" guard/forward who has national league experience with the Bury Blue Devils and was top scorer for Wasps in the National Cup match at Mansfield Giants. Robin Hewson a 5'9" guard also joins the squad from national league side Lincoln Stars.
Matt Baker a 6''2" forward and graduate of the much heralded East Durham Basketball Academy and Rob Dawson a 6'0" guard who won a national junior championship with the Sheffield Sharks will add much needed intensity to coach Fawcett's new look Hull Wasps.
Last season saw two victories over Bradford Dragons II who finished in 7th position in the league with a 10-12 record, indeed coach Fawcett will be hoping for a similar result this time round as Wasps aim to win the season opener for the fourth consecutive season. Is it too much to ask for the Wasps to improve on their average margin of victory in these matches which stands at 54 points after wins in 2011 v Oldham Titans 84-39, in 2010 v Liverpool 93-47 and in 2009 v Reddish Rebels 105-33?
Having reported back for pre-season training in June coach Fawcett has had extended time to ready the Wasps for the forthcoming season increasing the number of training sessions to two a week in a bid to ensure the title challenge is a realistic goal.
Wasps four seasons in the league so far have each been an improvement on the last; the inaugural 2008/09 season resulted in a 7th place finish and a record of 8-12, followed by 6th 10-8 in 2009/10, 5th 14-10 in 2010/11 and 5th 15-7 in 2011/12. Another season of improvement is definitely a realistic target and adds substance to coach Fawcett's lofty ambitions.
The following weekend sees a double header of home fixtures at our new venue Ennerdale Leisure Centre, Saturday 20th October v Bradford Maroons (6:30pm) and Sunday 21st October v Sefton Stars (3:30pm) in the National Shield.