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Bourne turns attention to Flyers junior programme

Bristol Flyers can confirm Chris Bourne will not return to the BBL squad for the 2017/18 season.

The 31-year-old, who made 15 appearances for the club last season, has decided to turn attention to his coaching commitments with the Flyers' Under-18s premier squad and the SGS basketball academy.

Bourne also has coaching experience on the international stage, having been assistant coach to the England Under-15 Boys squad that recently finished third at the Copenhagen Invitational tournament.

"It just felt like the right time for me to focus on my coaching,” Bourne told bristolflyers.co.uk. 

"This year I’m going to be coaching the Under-18s premier team, which means there will be a lot more clashes with my BBL commitments.

“The amount of support that we get from the fans and the atmosphere at our home games will definitely be something that I’ll miss the most. It will feel really strange when it comes to that first home game of the season and I’m not sitting on the sidelines.

"The great thing about the junior programme at our club is that they have something to aim for. There’s BBL basketball right on their doorstep and it gives them something to really strive for in the future."

Bristol Flyers head coach, Andreas Kapoulas added: "As a player Chris has always represented the club with great passion and dedication.

"What makes it more extraordinary is that he had to battle with a lot of adversity and injuries at the same time. That never stopped him from being there and doing anything possible to help the club move forward either playing or coaching within our junior programme.

"It was great to see him have a full BBL season with last year - his value and contribution cannot be measured in playing time or stats. He helped the team get better every day and that selfless approach speaks volume for him as a person.

"Chris has been actively involved with coaching in our junior programme and last year he joined the SGS academy coaching staff, bringing the same same passion and dedication to coaching that he had as a player

"This year he will be leading our U18s premier team as well as overseeing the coaching direction of our youth programme. He is a very talented coach with a bright future and it's very exciting to have him enhance our club delivery and will develop further our player performance pathway.”