Our girls and women’s programme is picking up some serious momentum. This year we have our Under 15 girls taking part in a range of Central Venue League’s to give them some much needed game experience whilst we will have a Senior Women’s team and an Under 19 Development team taking part in the West Midlands Women’s Leagues and Cup competitions.
With Head Coach Novlette Balela returning to oversee the programme for the 2018/19 campaign we are confident of building on an excellent last year of development with Terry Wilbanks taking a more active role in working with our Under 15 team.
We have some extremely talented girls and women already at the club and wish to build on this strong base. Novlette and Terry are doing a super job of developing the girl’s both on and off the court and our involvement as one of only a handful of sports clubs in Project 51, a National Project focussed on women and girl’s sport, shows our commitment to building a strong, sustainable female programme.
The latest piece of the COB Rockets coaching jigsaw is in place with the return of Funganayi Chogugudza as Head Coach of the Under 14 Regional team for the 2018/19 season.
Funganayi better known as ‘Nashy’ completes his first full season of head coaching having taken over the under 14 Regional team last November and developed a very young team inexperienced turning them into a competitive unit.
Having been with COB for 7 years as a player the club are delighted to have him in post. Nash will again juggle his coaching duties with his Senior Men’s team commitments during the forthcoming season.
Rockets MD, Rob Palmer, is happy to have Nash on board, ‘This is another excellent appointment for us. Funganayi’s efforts in stepping in last season and developing the young players under his tutelage was truly exceptional.
His ‘can do’ character and smiling face brings nothing but positivity to the club. Having coached Nashy as a 14 year old and seeing how he has developed into such a fine young man and now a leader fills me with so much pride. He is a role model for the club’s younger players and a great example for those around him. I have nothing but admiration for Nashy and the kids who he works with are a fortunate group’.
Rockets are pleased to add the highly experienced George Branch to our 2018/19 coaching staff as Head Coach of our Under 16 Regional team. He will be assisted by former Rockets junior Michael Doffman who returns to Birmingham following completion of his masters degree in Manchester last season and a year within the Manchester Magic programme.
Branch, a former Team Fiat/ Birmingham Bullets stalwart and 3 point hot shot, brings years of top flight experience which the played within the club will no doubt benefit from. ‘ Having spent time around the club I’m really excited to see so many kids enjoying the game that I love’ said Branch ‘ I’m a firm believer in developing sound fundamental skills and really looking forward to helping COB players move on to the next level’.
Rockets MD, Rob Palmer, feels that the appointment will bring another dimension to the Rockets coaching set up, “ George has just the type of experience and mindset that fits the club philosophy perfectly as we attempt to build a club orientated, development minded coaching staff. Our players will benefit from his knowledge, wisdom and experience whilst his focus on the floor is built around players developing sound fundamental habits. We are really excited to have George on board at this age group”.
‘Michael brings a unique skill set in performance analysis that will be of great benefit to us. He has grown as a coach during the past 12 months and is keen to make an impact within our programme. We are so pleased that he has agreed to take on this role’.