WORTHING Thunder Basketball Club captain Bud Johnston believes there were plenty of signs of progress for the club during a frustrating EBL Division 1 season.
Johnston highlighted the progress of Tomas Seduikis as a massive positive to come out of the 2013-14 season, although there was disappointment that Thunder failed to reach the play-offs and their defeat in the semi-finals of the National Cup was also hard to take.
Looking back at the season, Johnston said: “I think it was a bit frustrating, but I wouldn’t say it was a case of under-performing.
“There are certain situations where, sometimes, you have to take a step back to take two steps forward. And the club’s doing what they need to do to make everything sustainable and nurture local talent.
“There was dis- appointment and frustration in what the results were on paper but we look forward to next year and doing better.
“There were positives to be taken out of this season. We were always in the mix and we did have a fight for the play-offs, albeit quite a challenging one, but we hung about in there.
“There’s definitely been signs of progress. You look at some of the younger players, Tomas was MVP from the fans and got the players’ player award. That’s a true result of his progress.
“He’s 21 or 22 years old and his personal improvement is impeccable. It goes to show what the improvement has been for local guys.
“We just need to relay that to getting results and it’s a shame we didn’t win that cup semi-final, which would have been nice.”
Johnston admitted the semi-final defeat had a knock-on effect on the players and said: “We did take it to heart, we definitely deserved to win that game and it was kind of taken from us at the last minute as, going into double over-time, it’s always tough.
“Again, it’s one of those things, it’s basketball, it’s sport and you’ve got to take those games and move on. We’ll learn from that and we’ll look to again be in a semi-final next year and learn from our mistakes and move forward.”
Looking ahead to next season, Johnston said: “The key is that we need to get our squad finalised a lot earlier than we did this year and that’s down to the head coach and the management.
“If we get that sorted out, I think we’ll stand a really good chance of having our best season so far since the reformation of how the club operates.”