Ward admits Thunder should have done better

Worthing Thunder Basketball Club co-captain Tom Ward admits his side should have done better this season.

Tom Ward in action for Worthing Thunder
Tom Ward in action for Worthing Thunder

Thunder lost the National Cup final to league champions Manchester Magic and reached the quarter-finals of the National Trophy but failed to make the end-of-season play-offs.

Despite finishing the season with four wins from five league games, Thunder ended up tenth in National League Division 1 and Ward said: “It was a bitter-sweet finish, really. We feel that we’re one of the better teams in the league but we didn’t show that over the course of the season.

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“We certainly should have done better. We have the ability on the offensive end and we had defensive ability, with James Cambronne inside who’s one of the best players in the league, if not the best player.

“There are teams in the league, like Manchester, who are a clear great team and will be very tough to beat. But there’s other games where if we play well, we’ll win those games, it’s that simple.

“The Trophy quarter-final was a game we should have won. We had it in the bag and lost it and we also lost a lot of other close games where we were winning and fell apart.

“That comes with leadership and is something we need to improve on and become more mature as a team. I feel a deep personal responsibility for that and I need to do better next season.”

Despite having a relatively young squad, Ward is not using that as an excuse and said: “It comes in to play but a lot of teams in this league have young teams.

“Lancashire have a young side with only a couple of vets and are probably younger than us overall, so that shouldn’t really factor in when you have veteran players as well.

“We’ve definitely got the squad here to do better. We just need to execute, we need to be consistent and we need to be a bit tougher and more resilient. This season will spur us on in future and we’re only going to come back stronger and better.”

Thunder coach Daniel Hildreth wants to keep all of the squad together for next season and said: “Without a shadow of a doubt, I want to keep everyone together for next year. I’m a huge believer in continuity breeds success.

“I don’t like the idea of bringing in new faces every year as I don’t feel the fans get any affiliation to the players.

“I don’t see the huge benefit of bringing in someone from outside the area to replace someone local who is going to do a very similar job.

“This is their club and they’ve come through the programme and they deserve to be playing at this level.

“Are we looking to make some additions? Of course –but not at the expense of losing anybody.”

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