My name is Robyn Love and I’ve played with The Owls for 2 years. I’ve decided to write this blog entry to give people an insight into what it is like to join one of the most successful basketball clubs in the UK.
After having moved down to Manchester from Scotland I was very fortunate to have The Owls as my local club, and even luckier to be accepted onto their roster for both 1st and 2nd teams. I decided to make the move to play in the Premier League because I needed a better challenge and a higher level of competition; the level of game play and coaching that I would experience would also help me to develop my skills and become a better player in the international women’s game.
As someone new coming into The Owls I felt slightly intimidated at first as they are such a prestigious and highly respected club. I was very aware of their continuous dominance in the league and of all the world class players who have worn and are still wearing The Owls kit. However all my worries were put to rest by the end of my first training session as they are a very friendly, welcoming group of players who are always keen to pass on their knowledge.
A typical Owls training session will involve us scrimmaging hard against each other for a solid 2 hours. The Owls have a very particular style of basketball that they have been playing for many years, and this took me quite a few months to understand and get to grips with. It consists of making sure all players on court are in their strongest position, be this shooters, ball handlers or curlers. When we have players in the correct place and working to their strengths, the rest of the game takes care of itself. Our coaches Dan Johnson and Gary Peel are very firm believers in the traditional pick and roll style of basketball, and whilst this may sound simple, it can be extremely difficult to stop and is one of the contributing factors in The Owls’ success.
This season The Owls have been focusing hard on our EuroCup journey. This is because this year we qualified for the highest round of EuroCup; The Champions Cup.
At the first round, which took place in Germany in February we played 4 games and finished a respectable 3rd place. This was our goal going into the tournament, and after having played 2 very competitive games against the 1st and 2nd placed teams we returned home very satisfied with our overall performance.
Finishing 3rd meant that we have now qualified for the Andre Vergauwen tournament in Spain at the end of April. Eight of the best teams from across Europe will be competing in this final. After having an extremely successful domestic and international season it is our ambition to finish in the top 3 and with hard work and determination we have a strong belief we will get there. Wish us luck!