UEL are coming into the new season after having a brilliant prior year and are looking to replicate this for the 2017/18 season.
The team of the records
The UEL Women went the season undefeated finishing with a perfect 10-0 record, sealing them as clear champions, finishing six points ahead of second place and with a goal difference of over 100 more than closest competitors Buckingham.
UEL showed dominance and great execution catapulting themselves up to the South Eastern 1A division.
New season, same goals
Coach Tope Alli-Balogun is extremely confident in the team’s capabilities as he outlined the targets for the upcoming season: “They are always the same goals, promotion, promotion, promotion, getting to the top league and winning the league.”
Tope gave an insight into his strategies to get the best out of this season: “We will work on timing and movement, moving together with the ball.” He also mentioned the importance of recruiting new players as it is a key factor in the success of the team: “We have to get everyone comfortable playing with each other.”
Having a strong and confident start would be ideal for the team as it would boost the players’ confidence and their hunger to win. Coach Tope encourages the team to play at a high intensity both mentally and physically: “We will be focusing on playing at maximum level for the whole time.”
Bitter sweet memories
UEL women basketball team were the undisputed winners last season but bitter sweet episodes shadow the tale of an almost perfect season. It wasn’t all great for UEL’s Women last season as an early cup exit left everybody disappointed.
The coach and the team are determined to rectify last season’s early cup exit as he claimed: “I really want a good run in the cup this season, last season was very disappointing and I look to get further this [time]”.
The team is currently training really hard to make sure that they will be able to play consistently to a quite high level in all competitions.
Tope is positive when it comes to the players’ progress and looks to much bigger plans with the club. The coach said: “There is definitely enough talent for there to be a second team added in the future. There are way more females interested and getting involved in basketball than there used to be.”
With a higher demand of places in the women basketball team and given the recent success of the club Tope seems pretty confident in shaping a second women’s basketball team: “The talent is there, it’s more about getting extra staff and coaches when there are more teams” he explained.
For UEL the end goal is to reach the highest level and win it all, but the club will take things one game at a time. UEL’s main ambition is to state their dominance in the league bringing home a second title in two years. The title and a strong run in the cup would definitely be seen as a success for Coach Tope and his players.