Eleven of the 12 GB men who claimed historic gold at last month’s European Championships will be back in action this weekend as they begin their club seasons on the continent.
With Tokyo 2020 less than 12 months away, it’s going to be a busy, but an exciting year for the British players, with many of the GB men playing for teams in Europe, the majority in Spain.
Commenting ahead of his season opener for CD Ilunion, Terry Bywater is looking forward to returning to competitive action, six weeks after claiming his fourth gold medal at a European Championships:
“Winning the Europeans was amazing after our success at the World Championships – to be world and European champions is an incredible feeling but now it’s time to focus on my club season.
“It’s been a busy few weeks; lots of pre-season friendlies and travel with only 10 days’ rest, but now my goal is to win the league, the cup and Champions Cup and then gold in Tokyo.”
Staying in Spain, there will be a very British feel when Mideba Extremadura start their season against Bidaideak Bilbao on Saturday with GB internationals Ben Fox, George Bates, Abdi Jama, Phil Pratt and Greg Warburton all representing the Badajoz-based team.
2018 world champion James MacSorley starts his season against two other British players with his Gran Canaria side facing an opening day fixture against Iberconsa Amfiv, featuring GB’s Lewis Edwards and Sam Mack.
Thomas Smith’s Rincon Dental Amivel begin their season against Fundacion Grupo Norte.
Simon Brown and Jim Palmer’s league campaign is already well underway with the German League beginning last month.
Brown has scored 17 points in four games for RSV Lahn-Dill, who remain unbeaten in the German League this season, totalling 12 assists and eight rebounds.
Commenting on his start to the season, Brown said: “We’ve had a great start to the season with tough tests against Hannover and Rahden. Training has been a lot of fun pushing myself to the limit against some of the best players in the game.”
Palmer has scored 20 points so far this season – including a three-pointer just 10 seconds into Rhine River Rhinos Wiesbaden’s win over RBB Munchen Iguanas – with five assists and 10 rebounds.
Ian Sagar and Martin Edwards have got a few more weeks until the Italian League starts on 9 November – no doubt a welcome few weeks extra for Ian who recently became a father to William Sagar!
Complete fixture list, featuring GB players:
|RBB Iguanas Munchen v RSV Lahn-Dill||Simon Brown|
|Rhine River Rhinos Wiesbaden v RSB Thuringa Bulls||Jim Palmer|
|Mideba v Bidaideak Bilbao||Ben Fox |
|CB Las Rozas FDI v BSR Amiab Albacete||Kyle Marsh |
|Iberconsa Amfiv v BSR Gran Canaria||James MacSorley (Gran Canaria) Lewis Edwards (Amfiv) Sam Mack (Amfiv)|
|Fundacion Vital Zuzenak v CD Ilunion||Terry Bywater|
|Rincon Dental Amivel v Fundacion Grupo Norte||Thomas Smith|