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'Promising Signs For Successful Flyers Season'

You can’t read too much into pre-season games but despite a loss to USA Select Flyers appear to have everything in place for another successful BBL season.

Although coach Kapoulas would have preferred a win on Thursday night’s annual spectacle against USA Select, he must be encouraged to have seen glimpses of positive things to come from his still incomplete Flyers team.

The first half saw a well-timed half-court offensive set free up versatile forward Mathias Seilund for a layup underneath the hoop and a strong Daniel Edozie screen led to a straight away three by the flaring Greg Streete.

An impressive 15 point third-quarter haul by newly acquired import Cardell McFarland and last second breakaway basket sent the game to overtime. It was almost enough to compensate for turnovers and mis-timed execution, all of which are to be expected as the team try to find their feet during pre-season preparation.

New Signings Can Make Flyers Tick

McFarland's ball handling and passing ability is sure to free Streete up off the ball allowing him to use his explosive first step and much improved shot to punish defences. Veteran shooter Doug McLaughlin-Williams will be looking forward to both benefiting from McFarland's ball distribution and potentially playing less time in the post and more doing what he does best from the perimeter.

Dream debut
American import Cardell McFarland top-scored on his debut with 27 points, but also created more chances than any other player on the court with eight assists, whilst Daniel Edozie, Greg Streete and Mathias Seilund all completed double-doubles.

Edozie adds some real physical presence and rebounding ability off the back of a two year college career at the prestigious Iowa State University Cyclones and backed up by Jordan Ranklin, Flyers seem to have real power at the power forward position. Roy Owen looks to be in great shape and should prove reliable back up to McFarland at the point guard spot while Chris Bourne looks injury free and as athletic as ever, ready to embrace his role as defensive specialist.

The Next Generation Of Talent

The path to the NBA?
Two Flyers academy stars signed for American colleges this summer after playing regularly in the BBL – Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye signed for NCAA Division One side Bradley University, with teammate Tamas Okros signing for Division Two side Post University.

True to his word, Thursday night saw Kapoulas giving court time to talented academy youngsters Jake Notice, Kane Hendrickson-Causer and Kevin Ozoemelam, invaluable experience at the beginning of their basketball journey. It’s great to see some home-grown talent getting a chance to follow in the foot-steps of Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye and Tamas Okros who both joined American colleges from Flyers over the summer.

Final Piece Of The Jigsaw?

The coaching staff will now be working overtime to secure the signature of a final import player to complete the Flyers roster. Personally I’d be looking at a forward or centre with scoring ability which will allow Edozie to play at power forward, utilising his rebounding ability and push McLaughlin-Williams out to the perimeter to exercise his deadly three point shooting.

Roster rules
BBL sides are permitted to register five international players with a maximum of three of these coming from outside the EU. Bristol Flyers currently have three international players with two of these from outside the EU (Daniel Edozie holds a British Passport), leaving one spot free.

With the return of McLaughlin-Williams and the prospect of another import signing imminent, Flyers fans can surely look forward to some great basketball at the SGS WISE Arena on the journey to the ultimate goal of winning the BBL Championship.

Flyers begin their BBL season this Saturday at home to Surrey Scorchers - click here to buy tickets online.

Written by Tom Hutchinson - Tom played for Bristol Flyers from its inception in National League division three and was part of the roster that won promotions to divisions two and one before injury forced his early retirement. 

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