Preview: Rocks @ Leeds Carnegie

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Leeds Carnegie coach Matthew Newby knows what his side is capable of and feels it is just a case of showing it, when they host Glasgow Rocks in the BBL Trophy first round on Friday.

Carnegie, currently sixth in EBL Division One, will join the BBL next season after jumping three divisions since 2006, and Newby is relishing the prospect presented to his team this weekend.

He said: “This is an excellent opportunity for the players, the coaching staff and our administration to challenge our potential.

“In terms of individual players it is a massive opportunity to prove that they are ready for as step up.

“We are thankful of the opportunity that the BBL has given us and I believe this event will show we are on the right track in terms of the on-court and off-court aspects.”

Carnegie struggled on the court last weekend but Newby is hoping they can rise to the occasion and reach their potential on Friday.

Newby added: “Up until last weekend we had been on a strong run of form and in the two games against Manchester Giants and Team Northumbria we played out of sync and out of character as individuals and as a collective.

“We can’t afford to approach this game any other way than on point and recognise the significant opportunity we have to challenge our potential as fledgling BBL franchise.

“We are young and need to recognise that matching Glasgow’s physicality is only part of it. We have to play smart and ensure when they make a run we stop it and when we make a run, recognise what is making us successful.”

What they say:

Rocks coach Sterling Davis: “It’s always a stressful circumstance as a coach to make sure your team goes into the game with the right mindset when the odds are for you. Our biggest challenge this weekend will be the mental aspect of playing our game.”

Carnegie captain Jack Stannard: “This is another opportunity to gauge ourselves against the calibre we will be facing week-in, week-out next season.

“A lot of the issues we’ve faced with other BBL teams we’ve played have been the size disadvantage we have, however we have been training hard and watching tape and we’re hoping we can turn this into an advantage for us.”

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