Road trips could help to kickstart Sharks’ season – Williams

Dirk Williams. Picture: Dean Atkins
Dirk Williams. Picture: Dean Atkins
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After four defeats on the spin, arguably the last thing you need is an extended run on the road.

That is the ominous task facing Sheffield Sharks right now.

They begin a brutal five-game stretch away from the EIS this Sunday when they travel to Surrey Scorchers in the latest round of the British Basketball League (BBL).

Such is the lop-sided fixture schedule that Atiba Lyons’s team do not play in front of their home fans again until March 29.

Shooting guard Dirk Williams admits, however, that the strange scheduling may actually benefit the side given their recent toils.

“I think it may actually be a good thing,” Williams told The Yorkshire Post. “We’re trying to fight adversity at the moment.

“We haven’t played well at home so perhaps we can turn that into a positive by playing on the road and getting some momentum.

“It’s been an up-and-down season. We’ve had injuries and new guys coming in but the effort is there.

“A lot of the games (recent defeats) have been fine margins.

“We had a week off last week, and that gave us a chance to get better at offence and defence.

“We only have one more game this month so that gives us time to focus and help ourselves get better.”

Williams is now in his second season at Sheffield and admits he is enjoying the campaign on a personal level.

The club’s top scorer is happy with his decision to sign terms with the Sharks again and believes the BBL’s reputation is on the up.

“I think the BBL is definitely on the way up,” he added. “The more players that come in and the more exposure that it gets, it can only get better over time.

“I certainly think the league and the set-up is moving in the right direction.

“I feel with the group of guys that we’ve got we can get back on track and get a positive run and aim for those play-offs. For me personally, I would say I’m having a much better season than last year.

“That was my goal: Try to be a better player and try to progress,” he said.

“I like playing in Sheffield and I’m thankful to the club for allowing me to show my talents.

“I’ve got a family out here so a lot of things made me want to come back,

“I’ve done a lot of moving around so it feels good to have somewhere that I can put roots down and call my home.”

Club skipper Mike Tuck wishes he could help the club in their current sticky patch of results.

The long-serving Canadian is currently propped up in the treatment room after sustaining a spiral fracture of the right hand during a recent game. Tuck is expected to be on the sidelines for another six weeks after undergoing successful surgery last week.

“This has probably been the worst injury I’ve ever had,” said Tuck.

“I’ve never had to sit out this long before.

“So from that point of view it’s been very challenging mentally.

“We won’t have a home game for seven weeks which is frustrating but if all goes well I’ll be back for the later part of March.

“All these bumps in the road have shaken the ship but we remain optimistic.

“We’ve got 11 in the wins column and nobody can take that away from us.

“With injuries at the moment we’re just trying to keep it going through the last part of the season.”