The off-season can seem like a long time without any news, but Sterling and the off-court team are continuing their hard work over the summer to grow and improve the franchise.
We caught up with Player/Coach Sterling and General Manager Daniel to give you an idea of what goes on during the off-season, and when you might expect some exciting news!
Sterling, what are your personal plans for the off-season this year?
My wife and I are expecting a baby. I plan on working on player recruitment until the baby arrives, then I plan on taking a couple of weeks off to enjoy the moment and take it all in, then I’m right back on it again.
Will you be putting on a Rocks strip again this season?
Yes, I will be putting on a Rocks strip this season.
What are your aspirations for next season’s team?
Right now I’m just trying to get an idea of what’s out there, in terms of players. We want a much improved season over the one we had last year. It’s more so trying to get a group of good character guys around who will leave it all out there on the floor.
What position do you think is vital for this season coming up?
Right now I think it’s important we get a good point guard position, with EJ retiring I think that puts a big hole in the nucleus of the team. I want to get someone in who can fill EJ’s shoes and continue us along the right path.
What restrictions do you face in bringing foreign players to the league?
You only get 3 US players per team and an allotment of 2 EU players, with the rest of the squad made up with British players.
Can you talk us through the recruitment process?
It’s quite tedious. You’re constantly looking at film; right now I’m just looking to see what’s out there in terms of players and trying to get an understanding of how the market is – because every year it’s different. I’m just trying to stay on top of all the players who are coming out right now and beginning communications with agents and starting to identify what I need
Do you deal exclusively with agents?
I prefer dealing with players themselves to be honest, but a lot of time guys don’t feel comfortable doing that and they rather me speak with agents which I understand. I also deal with guys who I have previous relationships with, coaches in the US who are trying to help players continue their careers out with the US. It’s just using every avenue I have to get as much information as possible about available players.
How do you sell Glasgow to foreign players?
It’s more so the organisation. I try to tell them how professional we are as an organisation. I think the facilities we have is a great selling point. I also talk about our club history; I think last year was a blip on our pretty consistent record. I think we like to win here and I think we have great fans here. So I use all that to try and bring players to Glasgow.
When might fans expect the first signing?
I don’t have a particular time. If I find the right guy tomorrow then I’ll sign him, what I’ve found over the years is guys that I speak to now by the time the summer is over I’m not speaking to them and it’s a whole new group of players. It’s the nature of how things go. I don’t say “I won’t sign a player until the end of July’” I just go on instinct and decide what is best for the organisation.
Daniel, what does the off-season mean for the Team behind the Team?
The off season is a particularly difficult/busy time for the front office – it is a period dedicated to evaluation, strategic planning and forward preparation. The off-season does not mean we stop and have a break, it means we get a chance to make improvements and take the appropriate steps to move forward, so that when September comes we know we are ready both on and off the court!
Will the Rocks continue to expand next season?
After a bitterly disappointing 2013/14 season we are motivated more than ever to make sure we take the correct steps in assuring that the 2014/15 season is a success! As a franchise our goal is to continually look at ways of improving our overall product model, improving the match-night fan experience, improving our results, achieving our goals and of course improving our on-court team.
Can you talk us through the recruitment process, from your perspective?
Prior to the commencement of any official recruitment process I need to compose a detailed up-to-date account of the franchise in order to construct a viable player budget for the upcoming season. This takes precedence over any player discussions. Once this is finalised Sterling receives his budget and commences his recruiting process for the upcoming team roster – he researches and scouts players which he feels would suit his coaching style. He usually comes up with a shortlist of potential players to bring in, but before any final decision is made we sit down together and decide on which players would fit the Glasgow Rocks mould. Once we discuss the pro’s and cons of each candidate a final decision is made and the negotiation process begins – something Sterl has become quite accustomed to over the years.
What can we expect from the Rocks, off the court, for the upcoming season?
We are currently in talks with some new potential sponsors and we will (of course) be aiming to bring back the majority of last season’s sponsors. We have some special events in the pipeline and if all goes to plan we could be part of something that no Rocks fan/basketball enthusiast would want to miss. Our partnership with the Emirates Arena continues to grow and we expect it to flourish post Commonwealth Games.
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