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Joel Osborne

Joel Osborne writes

Posted Friday, August 24th 2018

Kapoulas on new summer signings

Andreas Kapoulas is looking forward to seeing what his new recruits have in store for him ahead of the 2018/19 season.

The Flyers head coach has been hard at work over the off-season getting his new-look squad together - adding five players in total ahead of the club’s fifth season in the top flight of British basketball.

Maltese International Tevin Falzon was the first newcomer to put pen to paper - returning for his second year in the BBL after spending a season-long spell with the Cheshire Phoenix.

“It’s an exciting time - we have been working hard during the summer to put the squad together,” Kapoulas told Bristol Flyers TV.

Tevin is hungry and he really wants to prove himself and I think we can give him the opportunity to go out there and show what he can do.

Kapoulas was also able to secure the services of Fred Thomas, who agreed a switch from Norwegian top-flight outfit Kongsberg Minors.

Last season, Thomas led the Minors to a first-place finish in the BNLO, with a record of 29-5 and a place in the qualifying round of the FIBA Europe Cup. 

“Fred brings versatility as he’s a two-way player, playing offence and defence as well as being a very good person off the court,” Kapoulas added.

“That’s that type of player that we want and we are very excited to have him here.”

Adding further NCAA Division One experience is 6ft 5in forward Justin Gray, who last season helped Texas Tech University to the ‘Elite 8’ of the NCAA Tournament.

“I think that both Fred and Justin compliment each other very well in terms of their skill set,” he continued.

“They also give us that individual ability, not just on the offensive end but on the defence end, which potentially you can argue that we’ve never had two individuals with such ability on both ends of the court. 

“It’s certainly very exciting to see them on both competing against each other in practice, but also playing together in the games to come.”


BACKCOURT FIREPOWER

Bolstering Kapoulas’ backcourt are playmakers Jalan McCloud and Lewis Champion. 

McCloud signed his first professional contract out of East Tennessee State University, whilst former GB Under-20 International Champion earns the call-up to the BBL following a seven-year career in NBL Division one.

“It takes a couple of games for point guards to adjust in this league," said Kapoulas.

“Jalan’s very explosive, he’s quick and he will certainly add pace to our game.

“I think that he is going to be a great leader for our team and we want him to be the face of our defence.

“He will set the tone for everything that happens defensively for us.”

Speaking of Champion, Kapoulas added; “I am very pleased to have been able to offer him his first professional contract. This year he’s going to be very important for his development as a player.

“We really want to encourage British talent to stay in the UK and I think that this year is going to be one where he learns a lot. There is so much to come from Lewis in the future.”

Tickets for Flyers' pre-season games against USA Select, Solent Kestrels and Team Basketball Wales, including the Greg Streete Testimonial remain on general sale.

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