Mersey Tigers have entered a team in to EBL Division 4 for the upcoming season, helping to create a player pathway between the club’s academy and BBL outfit.
Formed on the back of the success of the Tigers academy based at Childwall Sports College, the new team will further enhance the club’s development of young players, as it looks to provide the opportunity for academy players to eventually make it to the professional side.
Academy Head Coach Phil McLoughlin, who will also oversee the EBL outfit, said: “The entry into the EBL leagues seems like a natural step for the club.
The academy in my first year finished Under 17 national Champions. The goal for the players at the academy is to achieve academically but also have the opportunity to progress to the BBL team.”
The majority of the EBL squad will be made up from the academy team, but will also feature some familiar faces from the senior squad.
A club spokesman added: “The introduction of an EBL team to the club has firmed up our plans to develop a real player pathway and assist the development of basketball in Merseyside.
“With the establishment of junior teams in the pipeline, potential young stars can now start basketball at a young age, move on to play for our academy at Childwall, and then hopefully graduate from there to play regularly first in the EBL and then eventually in the BBL.
“It would be fantastic for both the club and the sport if we can start bringing through home-grown professional sportsmen, and who knows, maybe one day, we could boast a team of not only British players, but local British players.”
The new EBL season kicks off on the first weekend of October, when Mersey Tigers II take on Rossendale Raptors.
The league also includes Bradford Dragons II, Bradford Maroons, Burnley College Blaze, Hull Wasps, Liverpool, Middlesbrough Lions, Mold Magic, Oldham Titans, Stockport Falcons II and Tees Valley Mohawks II.
Full fixtures and further information will be available via the Tigers official website, www.merseytigers.co.uk, shortly.