DERBY TRAILBLAZERS VS COVENTRY CRUSADERS
Venue: Moorways Sports Complex, Allenton, Derby, DE24 9HY.
When: Saturday 29 January 2011
Tip Off: 7:30pm
Competition: National League Division One
By Adam Manning
History will be made this Saturday when Coventry Crusaders travel to Derby Trailblazers in National League Division One when Crusaders captain Michael Gale faces his younger, taller brother Martyn Gale for the first time in his career.
Neither sibling has had much to brag about so far this season as both teams make up the bottom two of the league, yet the Crusaders representative of the Gayle family revealed there’s been the usual rivalry between the two this week.
The experienced point guard told Crusaders TV: “There’s a bit of banter in the house going back and forth, that my team is better than his and his team is better than mine, but I’m sure my brother will say the same thing that all he wants to do is have a good game and win.
“But it makes it a little bit better to beat your sibling so I’m really looking forward to playing against him.”
Derby have picked up their form of late in stark contrast to Crusaders’ dire run of six straight defeats – Trailblazers have won their last three league games to move themselves two wins ahead of Crusaders and are the same margin off the seven play-off teams tied on ten points, yet Gale insists Coventry can still make it into the top eight in the second half of the season.
Asked if the play-offs are still the aim despite the danger of falling ten points behind the top eight, Gale quipped: “of course”.
“Our first game of the season was against Bristol and we lost by eight or nine points when our team hadn’t been together that long, and that Bristol team that’s doing very well at the moment have been together for three years.”
“So if we can compete with a team like that when we all just came together, and we can lose by one point to the teams that are mid-table, that just proves that we should be mid-table as well.”
There are no new injury worries for Crusaders as 7 ft centre Rob Clarke is still on the sidelines with a knee injury.
Crusaders team expected to face Derby: 4 Michael Gayle (captain); 5 Jack McDonald; 6 Leigh Cascoe; 7 Roy Owen; 8 Siman Stewart; 9 Damilola Fakunle; 10 Simon Payne; 11 Robin Hall; 12 Casey Crawford; 13 Pierre Henry-Fontaine; 20 Dave Edden; Louie Romero; Louis Young; Alex Banfield; Daniel Belgrave.