Leeds Force are aiming to give their fans something to cheer about in their final home game of the season against the Glasgow Rocks tonight, writes ARIF AHMED.
Force play their last two games of the season this weekend and coach Matt Newby wants his players to thank the fans for their support with a win at the Carnegie Sports Arena.
“We want to give the fans a real competitive game on Friday as a thank you for their support in a tough season,” he said. “It has been a tough season and it will be hard match-up against the Rocks but hopefully we can put in a strong performance for them.”
The game against Glasgow comes a week after the Rocks beat them comfortably in Glasgow 92-61.
Despite the heavy defeat, Newby is looking at the positives from the game and was proud of his players: “A few of our players were banged up and couldn’t play. Jack (Isenbarger) has a hernia and Rob (Sandoval) looks to have torn his hamstring so the young players had to step up.
“I think they did that very well, it was almost like a new line-up.
“But we can’t brood on that game as we have them again on Friday.”
A slow start cost the Force in the Scottish capital seven days ago and Newby put that down to failing to make opportunities count. He said: “I think we started very quickly in that game but we couldn’t make our shots and we were punished in transition, and from there it was an uphill slog.”
Leeds will finish the season off on Sunday against the Cheshire Phoenix, who are rated very highly by Newby.
“They have a very talented roster irrespective of their league position,” he said.
“They are a dangerous side that we need to be ready to face.
“It has been a hard year for the team with injuries and things not going our way and I think that has told on the players’ mind and bodies.
“But they haven’t given up on the season yet.
“They have been a credit to the Leeds Force jersey that they wear and they will continue to do that against Glasgow and Cheshire.”
Meanwhile, Leeds Force Under-18s have made it through to the final four of their national division.