Sheffield Sharks v Manchester Giants '“ Tuck remains in for the long haul with ambitious Sharks

MIKE Tuck believes the future is looking bright for the Sheffield Sharks, ahead of tonight's season opener.

READY AND WILLING: Sheffield Sharks' Mike Tuck. Picture: Chris Etchells

The Sharks, one of the most successful teams in the history of English basketball, begin their 25th season in the British Basketball League (BBL) hoping to rediscover their trophy-winning form of years gone by.

Club captain Tuck is preparing for his 10th season with the Sharks after first arriving in South Yorkshire in 2009 – although he says it doesn’t feel that long at all.

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“Time has flown, it really has,” the Canadian told The Yorkshire Post.

“All of a sudden I’ve been here for 10 years which is just crazy.

“I’m just happy to be a part of the fabric of this place now.

“The future’s looking bright for the club; we’ve got the arena on the horizon and a brand new squad that’s been put together.

“The stability and consistency is definitely here.

“Hopefully, by this time next year, fingers crossed, we’ll be having games at our own arena.”

The Sharks remain embroiled in negotiations with the city council to build a new community arena which the club ideally want to move into before September next year, in time for the 2019-20 campaign.

They currently play games out of the English Insititute of Sport (EIS), situated nearby to the potential new build, but want a permanent base that they can call their own and one that brings together the local community.

Sarah Backovic, Sharks’ managing director, recently said: “We are very keen to have that facility and we don’t see ourselves as competing with the EIS because it’s a completely different facility to ours.

“The arena would be a community facility for the community, who can use it at an affordable rate for secondary sports such as basketball.”

Tuck is not only captain of the Sharks but is also kept busy by working as the club’s marketing manager. It is a role that he is still enjoying, despite the lack of downtime.

“Everything is going really well off court,” said Tuck. “There’s not a lot of free time for myself, but it’s a good mix of my roles at the club and I’m happy to be part of it.”

The Manchester Giants are tonight’s visitors to the EIS (7.30pm) and Tuck has been impressed with their preparations in pre-season.

“Manchester have done a good job over the summer with their recruitment,” he added.

“They’ve brought over three really good American imports, so it’s going to be an exciting game, for sure.”