Newby puts sentimentality to one side as Force take historic first step at home

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Leeds Force director of basketball Matt Newby admits his side need to strike a balance between pride and performance in their historic first home game in the British Basketball League tonight.

The side formed out of the Leeds Metropolitan University programme in 2006 have been steadily climbing the national pyramid over the last eight years.

The strength of their community and junior programmes, 
allied with the league’s need to expand, saw them fast-tracked to the top tier for this season.

Although Newby admits he may be emotional tonight when they host Glasgow Rocks at Sports Arena at Leeds Beckett University (7.30), he knows sentimentality has to be put to one side.

“Tonight’s game will hopefully be a celebration about what’s been achieved over the last few years,” said Newby, whose side were beaten 80-46 in their BBL opener at Durham Wildcats last Sunday. “The outcome is important, but to be playing a home game in the BBL is really a significant achievement in itself.

“If we can take a result off a pedigree side like Glasgow it would be absolutely fantastic.

“But let’s not forget, that just the fact that we are here, that we are in our second game and that we are making moves like a proper professional club should, is something to be really proud of.”

Sheffield host Plymouth at the English Institute of Sport at 7.30.