I was eight or nine when I first saw the Chester Jets play. My dad played basketball and played for Mike Burton, who at the time was heavily involved with the Jets when Robbie Peers was coaching.
My focus and my dreams as a youngster were always to play, and my aspirations were to play for this club. When I stopped playing, I wanted to give back to the club I was a junior with, which was the Ellesmere Port Panthers, which are now the Cheshire Phoenix Juniors.
I never thought I would hold this position as the head coach of the Phoenix men’s team, but I’m extremely proud of it. I was in the right place at the right time to seize this opportunity, and now I am entering my fifth full season in charge, with the club building in the right direction both on and off the pitch.
The BBL Cup final in 2017/18 was my first opportunity as a head coach to be in a final, and I probably didn’t enjoy that moment as much as I enjoyed being here today. today, or how difficult it would be to get to another final.
I’m very grateful to the players and staff for their efforts, to our amazing fans for their support in helping us get here, and to the organization for giving us the tools to get to this final. . I’m so proud, excited, happy and can’t wait to get there. I can not wait !
It’s easy for me to get passionate about this club because I’ve supported it for as long as I can remember, and it’s not just a job for me – or for James Brice, our managing director.
We both traveled across the country watching finals, meeting players, being coached by players in high school, so for us this opportunity is more than just a job. Our goal has always been to make sure everyone else involved with the club shares that passion and desire to win.
The next Ben Thomas or James Brice could be sitting in the crowd today, and if anyone can be inspired by our team and what we do, we’d love to see that happen and spark their interest in continuing the game as that career in the future in the role they would like.
I really hope we can win for the fans. I was probably a little lucky to get to a final in my first year and I might have thought we could have done it a little more regularly than we have since, but that didn’t was not the case.
Finals are something to celebrate and enjoy, but we want to go and win them for the fans and give them back the support we get every game.