Mavericks look for new home

SUCCESS Members of the Mavericks squad are enjoying a good first season in the league

SUCCESS Members of the Mavericks squad are enjoying a good first season in the league

First published in Sport by , Sports writer/sub-editor

An up-and-coming basketball club is struggling in its quest to find a new home due to the limited availability at courts in the local area.

Due to high demand, the recently-formed Whitefield Mavericks, who currently play at the Phillips Sports For All Centre, have been asked to change the evenings they play and reduce their court time at the venue.

But Mavericks coach, Lee Fishwick, says the new arrangement is causing the club problems and he is now searching for a new home base.

He said: “Due to the issue of court space at the sports centre, the club has been asked to change from playing home games on a Tuesday evening to playing them on either a Friday or Sunday night.

“Due to players work, university and college commitments, half of our team are unable to play on these evenings, leaving the team without players.”

“Our court time has also been cut to 90 minutes, which is a major problem as the league states we need to have a set two hours booked on court for our home games.

“We have to submit our court times at the start of the season so moving days is almost impossible.

Formed by Fishwick and Jakub Drevikovsky in April 2013, the Whitefield Mavericks play in the Manchester Area Basketball League (MABL) and the Manchester Summer Tournament.

“I started the team as there was a large number of basketball players within the area who had almost no where to play,” said Fishwick.

The team began life in the mini Thursday evening league but there was such a desire from the team that it was decided they would look to play at a more competitive level.

“We held a joint trial with Bury Blue Devils and had a great response of around 30 players wanting to join either team,” said Fishwick.

“We now have a squad of 16 players aged from 17-years-old to 45-years-old who love to play the game.

“We arranged a few pre-season friendly games against better teams to gauge our skill level and managed to win these games, including a very good win over Bolton – who were at that time playing in the premiership and two divisions above us.”

However, issues regarding the club’s home venue have so far overshadowed what is turning out to be a successful first league season for the Mavericks, who are currently in second place in division two.

“Our first game of the season came as a bit of a shock when a visiting St Helen’s played a strong full court press, which we were not prepared for, and we lost the game by 31 points.

“After some motivational words we picked ourselves up and won our following five games with, at times, some very dominant scorelines.”

As well as a new home venue and somewhere to train, the Mavericks are also on the lookout for a kit sponsor and some coaching assistance.

Anyone who can help can contact Lee Fishwick on 07983566488 or get in touch via the club’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/manchesterwhitefield mavericks

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