New Partnerships, Coaching Appointments and Junior Development plans — 28 July 2011

The Taunton Tigers Basketball Club has, for several years, partnered with Richard Huish College in Taunton to help bring high quality playing and education academy programmes to young players in Taunton, Somerset and the South West. In 2011/12 we are strengthening our links with Richard Huish and co-branding our junior teams as the Taunton Huish Tigers. The college will be supporting the club in several ways, including reduced court hire costs which will help remove a large financial strain on the club, its players and their parents. Senior teams will remain as simply, the Taunton Tigers.

Coaching Appointments

Members of the club have been working hard since the end of the season, planning and organising for the 2011/12 teams and part of that has been securing new Coaches for nearly all teams. Therefore we are pleased to announce the following appointments:

Taunton Tigers Men's Team

Matthew Nolan will take up the Head Coach position for the Tigers senior Men's team who will compete in England Basketball National Division 3. Matt is a very experienced coach and long serving member of the club with years of playing experience at National League level. He has been able to coax a number of Tigers players out of retirement and will look to excite the crowds with a fast break and pressing defence style of basketball. Richard Anderson has agreed to be Assistant Coach of the Men's team as well as playing.

Taunton Tigers Women's Team

Darren Oakey will take up the Head Coach position for the Tigers senior Women's team who will return to National League this season, competing in England Basketball National League Division 2. Darren is the Head Coach of the Welsh Women's National team and the Welsh Boys U16 Coach so will bring with him plenty of high level experience.

Taunton Tigers Under 18 Men's Team

Competing in England Basketball National League Premier Division, the Under 18 Men's team Head Coach appointment has gone to Lucasz Sokolowski and the club is very excited about his future involvement. Described as 'a breath of fresh air' by Chairman Dave Bullock, he will aim to motivate, develop and inspire the U18 squad with his philosophy on player development and full court press fast break basketball. Lucasz has played professional basketball in Poland, is a qualified PE teacher and has coached the Woking Heat in National League Division 2, the University of Surrey and the South East U17 Girls team. The club would like to welcome him and support him in his relocation to the area.

Taunton Tigers Under 16 Boy's Team

The Taunton Tigers under 16 Boy's Team will be coached by Mark Crnchich and will compete in England Basketball National League. Mark is an experienced coach who took over the squad last season and we are very pleased that he has agreed to coach next year. Mark is the South West U17 boys head coach and lead APC coach for the 1997 cohort.

Taunton Tigers Under 14 Boy's Team

The Taunton Tigers under 14 Boy's Team Head Coach appointment has gone to James Watts, who will lead the team in England Basketball National League. James is an up and coming coach who impressed the club with his enthusiasm and tenacity. James worked with a number of teams last season whilst being mentored by Matt Nolan and Gary Carter. James will be assisted by Dave Neate-Stidson, a parent new to coaching who will be supported by The Tigers along the coaching pathway.

Junior Development

The Club is keen to push the development of its younger players and will encourage them to train and play with old age groups where suitable. As part of the junior development and to sustain the future of the club we intend to help all players leaving the Under 18's Academy to do so with qualifications in Coaching, Refereeing and Table officiating. Junior players will be encourage to volunteer either with a junior age group within the club or with relevant Somerset League satellite clubs.