With just shy of 100 players turning up for the McDonald’s Nottingham Hoods trials, the outlook for the season is a good one.
Wednesday evening saw the first ever full National League Programme club trials for the McDonald’s Nottingham Hoods, after the introduction of the Junior National League teams.
The first set of trials saw a large group of very talented youngsters looking to join the Hoods family and be amongst the first to play National League basketball at u14, u16 and u18 level for the Hoods, before the Senior Men trials began as Head Coach Phil Waghorn looks to bolster his rosters for the Division 2 and Division 4 campaigns next season.
Club Captain Bruce Lauder was keeping a keen eye on proceedings and even dusted off his boots to play as well, commenting, “this is a really exciting time for the club and something we have been working towards for 6 years now. After our initial success, we lost a lot of players to clubs higher in the league structure or to Europe, meaning we had a difficult time attracting players. Now here we have what must be close to 100 people desperately trying to be involved in this fantastic club, I couldn’t be happier. The Junior National League programme is a big step forward for us and I am so pleased to see the number of kids that have turned up today – and the standard! As club captain, it is also great to see the senior players taking such an active role in our junior programme, we had 7 of our best players here today advising the youngsters and helping them in their journey – the future is looking really bright.”
After a gruelling 2 hour trial where prospective senior players were put through an array of tasks and scrimmages, Lauder went on to say, “We are genuinely surprised by the amount of talent that has turned up today from all ages and the coaches are going to have some difficult decisions to make in the next couple of weeks. To be honest, I am especially excited about the Division 4 team. It is very rare that a new team keeps hold of the majority of their players for a second season, unless they have finished in the top 3 and yet virtually the whole team is here, eager to be back involved and wanting to play for the Hoods for another year. Keeping a core of players is key to build on success and I genuinely believe they have a really good shout at the title this year. From a personal point of view, I thoroughly enjoyed playing with these guys again, especially some of the younger players like Curtis Williams, who I have watched develop as a player throughout the Hyson Green Hustlers Sherwood League team, up to last season’s Division 4 team and now pushing more than ever to take a key role in next season’s preparations.”
The trial process continues for the next couple of weeks, with callbacks for those that stood out and would fit in to the Hoods family later this week. The full squads will then be announced at the end of August, ready for the start of the season in September. Keep checking hoodsbasketball.com for the latest player announcements and key signings as the club enters the most exciting and expansive time in its history