Hildreth: We’re moving in the right direction

Thunder coach Daniel Hildreth
Thunder coach Daniel Hildreth

WORTHING Thunder Basketball Club coach Daniel Hildreth believes his side are moving in the right direction, heading into the second half of the season.

Thunder sit seventh in the National League Division 1 table, with five wins and five defeats from their ten league matches, while they also reached the semi-finals of the National Cup and are through to the last eight of the National Trophy.

Worthing went into the Christmas break on the back of four successive league wins – after ending Essex Leopards’ unbeaten start in the league – and, on the season so far, Hildreth said: “We’re really pleased. When you look at our record, five and five, it’s probably not a true representation of where we are.

“Four wins in a row obviously is just another sign that we’re moving in the right direction and that’s what we talk about – getting better each week and that’s all we can ask to do.

“We have a home game quarter-final in the Trophy and, in unfortunate circumstances, we went out of the National Cup.

“Had we gone into the Christmas break with a couple more league wins, which we probably should have got, a cup final appearance to come and a quarter-final, we couldn’t have been happier.

“But, with the way things are going, we’re definitely moving in the right direction, which is the most important thing.

“It’s not who starts well, it’s who finishes well, so we’re showing signs that we’re going to finish well.

“The last two years, we were 0-10 and 2-8 at Christmas, so this puts us in a much better situation and teams are going to beat other teams and that will work in our favour as well.”

Looking ahead to the rest of the season and getting into the play-offs, Hildreth said: “In an ideal scenario, we’d play a home court quarter-final and finish in the top four. But I’ve said all along that we’re just taking one game at a time.

“All we can do is get better each week and work our way up the table. If results go our way elsewhere and we do what we’re supposed to do, we’re going to be sitting in a nice situation at the end of the season.

“Obviously, we’d love to play at home in the play-offs in front of the great crowd that we always have.”

Thunder welcomed back Jack Sunderland in their last game before the Christmas break and Hildreth said: “It’s really good to have Jack back. His university commitments have prevented him from playing and practicing with the team.

“His course has changed this year, which has meant he’s not been able to make practice and some Saturdays he’s committed to coaching.

“He’ll be a huge addition to us if he can play in the second half of the season. He’s such a spark off the bench and we’re looking forward to having him around a lot more.”

Thunder are next in action on January 10, when they travel to Derby Trailblazers in the league. The next day, Worthing are at home to Derby in the quarter-finals of the National Trophy.