London are an incredibly tough team to face for anyone, since they have pieced together such a strong roster that is primed for a playoff run.
Last time we travelled down to the capital in October, we couldn’t contend with their physicality or their size – we’ve brought in some bigger guys since then so, hopefully, that can even out the battle in the paint this time around.
I’ve never played on a Thursday before in this league, it’s a new challenge but the only real issue we face because of it is losing a day of practice.
There’s one less day to prepare for the task, so we’ll have to make allowances and find ways around it, but we’re not too worried about that.
It’s tough to try and embed new players into your system at this stage of a campaign, and it’s an issue we’ve been faced with all year because of the high turnover on the playing roster.
We have to make sure new acquisitions buy into the Leeds Force culture and are firmly invested in helping us win games over any personal agendas – that task is made more difficult by the fact most of the players here are new and trying to fit in themselves, while helping others do the same.
Morakinyo Williams is a strong signing, he’s a daunting threat and a rim protector who might give us that extra edge and toughness needed to win some games.
Other teams in the league right are eying the playoffs already, and players will be desperate to impress their coaches and earn themselves minutes in the post-season, so it’s up to us to rise to the occasion and prove that Leeds Force are still standing and willing to fight until the last.
Personally, I enjoy quick turnarounds, since it gives you the chance to redeem yourself if you play poorly in the last game, but it also allows you to feed off your own momentum if you play well in the previous fixture.
The fans will be hugely up for Sunday’s Yorkshire derby in enemy territory, but for us it’s just another game right now – we want to win.
We won’t be treating it differently at this point because we have the same mindset going into each remaining game, and that is to win at all costs to end our losing streak.
The only real and achievable goal for us is catching Manchester – that may seem difficult, but we all believe it’s possible and won’t give in until we’re mathematically out of contention.
All we can focus on is finishing the year as strongly as we possibly can – next season is out of our hands and firmly in control of our management.
It’s our duty as representatives of Leeds Force, the fans and the local community to give our all on the court and the rest will sort itself out in due course.
There are plenty of talented players representing England out on the Gold Coast at this year’s Commonwealth Games, it’s a high-pedigree tournament so guys will need to be at their best if they’re to compete for medals.
Hopefully Team England can pull it off and we’ll all be cheering them on come next month.
That’s it for this week’s column, I hope you enjoyed it and we look forward to receiving your continued support in the final few weeks of the season. #FeelTheForce
Interview: Seb Gigner.