PAWS LONDON CAPITALS VS COVENTRY CRUSADERS
Venue: Capital City Academy, Willesden, London, NW10 3ST.
When: Saturday 15th January 2011
Tip Off: 6:00pm
Competition: National League Division One
By Adam Manning
Despite the sleepless nights, Coventry Crusaders head coach Roger Payne is offering a bet with anyone who doesn’t think his side will be the first to leave London Capitals’ back yard with two league points on Saturday night.
Coventry’s trip down south follows the two single digit losses at the Coventry Sports Centre to Reading Rockets and Leeds Carnegie, but despite their bad luck coach Payne stressed that the inside knowledge that he and his London-based players Leigh Cascoe and Damilola Fakunle hold of the opposition means Coventry couldn’t be better prepared for this clash.
Payne revealed: “I’m going to put money down that we won’t lose against London, you can take the money to the bank now.”
“I know how the London guys play and I’ve watched them for a long time, and the guys that play for us who live in London have played with London’s players all through the summer.”
The Coventry-born Warwickshire Basketball hall of famer also started the mind games, insisting that Capitals, who are sixth in National League Division One from a 4-4 win-loss record, won’t be able to cope with Coventry’s offense.
“London Capitals do not have the capacity to sustain the kind of defensive pressure that we’re going to inflict on them, and there’s no way we’re coming home with a loss.”
The Crusaders head coach wants to see his experienced players rise to challenge of ensuring composed finishes to games, something that was Coventry’s downfall in their last match that saw them surrender a late 61-51 lead.
He added: “We’re going to get the guys going to the hole a lot more and the execution needs to be a lot more precise, but we have to be patient.” “
“In the last game we ran out of patience with two minutes to go on the offensive end and the pressure that Leeds were putting on us wasn’t all that great.”
“We should have stuck to the game plan and executed our offense like you expect your experienced players to do. But I’m not pointing fingers at anyone; I blame myself for the loss because I’m coaching the team.”
The only player missing from a fifteen man squad is long-term absentee Rob Clarke due to a knee injury.
Crusaders squad expected to face PAWS London Capitals: 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.
I'd also like to tell you that I have just launched a Crusaders TV section on YouTube that you can subscribe to should you wish. This will include weekly interviews with the head coach and a player. The link to subscribe is: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheCoventryCrusaders?feature=mhum