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Vigor Ready To Renew South West Rivalry From The Other Side

New recruit Michael Vigor has revealed how the experience of Bristol Flyers’ much-heralded atmosphere at the SGS WISE Arena played a huge part in his decision to switch South West allegiances.

Vigor has become Andreas Kapolous’ latest signing from Plymouth Raiders, for whom he made 32 appearances last season, averaging 11.5 points per game on 33% shooting from behind the three-point-line.

But it was the encounters with his new employers that really stood out for the Australian forward.

“I played with Plymouth last year and with Bristol being our big rivals it was always exciting to play against them,” Vigor told bristolflyers.co.uk.

“The first time I played against Bristol was a cup game at the Pavilions and I remember there was a lot of emphasis on us really wanting to beat Flyers because we’d never managed it before.

“We ended up going down to Bristol in that game and I just remember that feeling of not being able to beat them - they always had this sort of edge against Plymouth.”

Flyers held the hoodoo over Plymouth, winning the first six meetings with their South West rivals, before the Raiders finally broke their duck with a 19-point win against the Flyers back in March.

Vigor faced the Flyers four times last year, and clearly loves the physicality of the derby after fouling out in 11 minutes in one encounter at WISE last season - a game which Flyers came out on top by one in overtime.

“Going into Bristol for the second game I remember personally fouling out and really struggling with the refs,” Vigor recalled.

“That overtime game was incredible; there were some big plays made by both teams and the noise from the fans was amazing.”

When asked for his first impressions of the SGS WISE Arena, Vigor said: “The biggest thing for me was that Bristol had wooden floors.

“In Australlia all of the floors were spring loaded, whereas Plymouth and a number of the other arenas were all concrete. I loved it in Bristol as soon as I saw the wooden floors, and the atmosphere was fantastic.”

Although Flyers’ unbeaten run against Plymouth ended last season, the team still hold a 7-1 record in all competitions over the Raiders since their step up to the BBL in 2014.

“I can’t wait to play in Bristol.” he admitted.

“You always go into any new season with open eyes and it’s just a refreshing start to know that you have all those fans behind you and a new club and a new family to fit into.

“I’ve heard a lot about Andreas being a great coach, and obviously with the fact that he’s also the GB Under-20s head coach just goes to show that.

“I think moving to Bristol will be good step up for me in the BBL and I’m looking forward to getting back out amongst it once again.”

Keep up to date with the latest news throughout the off-season by liking ‘Bristol Flyers’ on Facebook, or following@BristolFlyers on Twitter.

Photography by Damian Pudner. 

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