Samuel Toluwase: We were pulled apart after we lost focus

Leeds Force coach Danny Nelson will be demanding more cohesion from his roster reckons captain Samuel Toluwase. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
Leeds Force coach Danny Nelson will be demanding more cohesion from his roster reckons captain Samuel Toluwase. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
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We beat ourselves over the weekend – it was a difficult pair of games and even though we tried to rally through them together, we were picked apart too easily and lost our focus as a team.

I don’t believe Cheshire are any better than us, but we need to be as professional and composed as they were on Friday.

The defeat was on us, there’s no excuses or places for us to hide. We came out to play against both Cheshire and Glasgow, but we didn’t do enough to win as shown by the results.

A lot of players come in confidentially to speak with me, we sit down and they tell me about how they’re struggling with their rhythm.

It’s hard to maintain your rhythm and your scoring touch sometimes, especially for inexperienced players.

It all comes down to experience – but whether you’re off the court or on the court, starting or not starting, you need to be ready to step on the court and play so there’s no excuse.

With the great fans we had at home against Cheshire, we should’ve absolutely had a great outcome and we let you down and can only apologise for that.

There’s got to be a level of consistency; understanding the plays is vital and that’s something we’ve struggled with recently.

We come in to practice day in and day out, but we turn up on game night and show what we can do. I have confidence in the guys we have available, I genuinely do.

We have to be solid all the way through the organisation; there’s a lot of issues right now, but one thing I love about this team is the sense of togetherness amongst the guys.

I’ve been on a lot of teams in the past where, if things don’t go right, there’s a divide amongst the players.

There is no divide at Leeds Force, we’re all close, we all talk and express how we feel with each other no matter what.

That is the most important thing for us, we’re all in it together – that’s what’s keeping me hanging on.

I’m an experienced player, but also, as well as that, I’m a grown man and a father.

I try and tell the younger guys the right things to do, and I’m going to continue saying what I feel is right.

I’m going to continue providing support for our guys. My job as a professional and mature athlete is to do what I must do to help my players.

This team can make the playoffs, there’s no way that isn’t a realistic goal.

We’ve added three new players, we just need to find that cohesion that I’ve spoken about and gel as a unit.

If we can do that then I think we should be good to challenge heading into the new year.

I play not only for Leeds Force, not just for the players or the fans, but for myself, my family and my name.

You have to show pride in who you are, what you do – I take a lot of pride in leading this team and being professional.

I’ll always compete, I’m not one to show up for something and give 10 per cent.

I will always give 100 per cent and that’s why I’m here.

Competing at the highest level I can is really the key for me, and I certainly won’t give up in any situation.

That’s it for this week’s column, I’ll be back next week so please come and support us on Friday at Carnegie Sports Arena against Manchester (7.30pm) and keep believing. #FeelTheForce

INTERVIEW: Seb Gigner