19 January, 2023

WPL 2023: Season preview with East London Phoenix

East London Phoenix are heading into the 2023 season of the BWB Women’s Premier League with determination, having reached the final in their debut during the inaugural season last year. Phoenix get their 2023 season underway with a home game against visitors Cardiff Met Archers on 29th January at 15:00.

The team have been busy preparing during their pre-season, combining camps at the UEL SportsDock with individual work further afield. Notably, the East London Phoenix team welcomed a new head coach: Ade Orogbemi. Ade is a retired Paralympian who represented GB for several years and achieved success on the international stage.

Ade Orogbemi commented:

“I see myself to be in a position to come in with my experience in wheelchair basketball to help the team reach their full potential. What’s impressed me so far is there are things already in place for the Phoenix to be successful. The players get on very well and the ‘team behind the team’ work very hard so everyone is working together to reach their goal.

“We have just gone through two months of pre-season and team training, working on our fitness both on court and in strength & conditioning sessions. The players have also been involved in individual sessions, developing in the areas of their games that needs sharping up. Now we are going into our last part of preparation which include tactical training, game-like situations and friendly games to help build our team chemistry.

“We have three friendly games organised with teams around the London area: London Titans, High Rollers and Aces. These games will help us finalise our preparation and lead us in the right mindset for the start of the season.”

East London Phoenix vs Loughborough Lightning in the 2022 Women’s Premier League final, hosted at the UEL SportsDock

Alongside a new head coach, East London Phoenix welcome several new players to the team. GB Women’s players Sophie Carrigill and Jude Hamer join the ranks, bringing a wealth of experience to the team. Additionally, players Jodie Waite, Debee Steel and youngster Chloe Fiveash will make their debut for East London Phoenix this season.

Debee Steel commented:

“It’s really felt great to get back on the court and in the gym with such an amazing group of women. Pre-season has been a real mix of fitness, skill, strategy and getting to know each other better both on and off court – hopefully hard work will pay off as the season starts.”

“This will be my first season with the Phoenix and I’m excited to play at home in London in SportsDock’s great facility in front of family and friends”

Returning player Alice McHaffie commented on the pre-season preparations:

“In my personal preparation for this season I have been doing many things on and off court such as I have been getting in the gym and keeping up with my S&C as well as cooking lots of nutritious meals as I wanted to try out new recipes in the new year. On court I have been working individually with my coach to work on some things to help in the 2023 season and as a team we have all come together to training to play as a team ready for the 2023 season.”

“I am so excited to be in front of the SportsDock crowd, even more now I am a student here as my university friends can come support and see the games. I hope many people show to support us in our 2023 season. I am so looking forward to representing Phoenix again and developing from last season.”

East London Phoenix are set to put on a display of thrilling basketball action this season at the UEL SportsDock. Find out more: https://www.uel.ac.uk/study/student-life/sport/scholarships/east-london-phoenix

Every Women’s Premier League game will be livestreamed on the British Wheelchair Basketball YouTube channel. The full fixtures list can be found here: https://britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk/competition/womens-premier-league-2022-23/

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