West Suffolk Wolves expanding male section of the club
West Suffolk Wolves are expanding their boys and male section to incorporate new teams at under-12 and 18 level in the upcoming season.
The club, who are based at County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds, have applied for both sides to play in the National League for the upcoming season.
Head coach Darren Johnson said he is delighted to now be able to open up a pathway through the age groups by running five teams next season, without including County Upper’s U19s academy team.
“Technically we can now cater for everyone through the age groups,” he said. “We will have under-12s. 14s, 16s, 18s and senior men, so this expansion completes our all-through academy.”
The club – formerly known as County Upper Wolves before a recent rebranding to better encapsulate the area they represent –did experiment with running an U18s side in the 2015/16 season. But that was an additional outlet for their U19s academy side and proved to be too much alongside their midweek college programme, although they did end with an 11-5 record in the National League.
Johnson explained the rationale for the team will now be for players who are not looking to pursue professional hopes via their academy programme but wish to find a level to play in-between 16s and senior men.
He said: “It is about keeping players playing. Not everyone wants to be a professional athlete and go to America.”
The club did run a mixed side at U12s in the National League last season but by separating the girls and boys it will now give more opportunities at what Johnson feels is a key age group.
“It is only the second year that Basketball England have run an U12s league but it is the most important year group for development in the game,” he said.
“By not starting until U14 you lose people to other sports, potentially and that age group is the best to work with with developing and retainingtechnical skills.”
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More by this authorRussell Claydon
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