Super League title top priority for Thunder coach

The visit of Griffith Swords Thunder for their Men’s Super League clash with UCC Demons will attract a bumper crowd to the Mardyke Arena on Sunday.

Super League title top priority for Thunder coach

Thunder were impressive in their opening two games against Killester and Eanna and for coach Dave Baker the goal of winning a major title at this level remains top of his priority list.

The journey began in 2010 for Baker when he was approached to set up a club that originally became Dublin Thunder.

“We tried to enter the National League but were refused as we didn’t have the necessary structures but were allowed to enter the Men’s division one National Cup that we duly won,” said Baker, whose next step was to twin the club with Swords.

“I played with Swords as a young lad and basically we were a feeder club for many teams in Dublin so it was time to get our act together.”

In 2014 Swords entered the Super League and finished runners-up to UCC Demons before reaching the National Cup final last season and losing out to Templeogue.

This season, Thunder have recruited the following players: Justin Goldsborough — USA (Lehigh Mountain Hawks), Conroy Baltimore — USA (Lehigh Mountain Hawks), Charlie Coombes (Southeastern Oklahoma State University), Ian O’Boyle (Norwood Flames), Eric Westbrooks (Thomas Terriers), Conor Gallagher ( Eanna), Alex Calvo — ESP (Crónica Megacalzado Ardoi), Jose Maria Gil Narbon (Baloncesto Alcobendas).

So how can a Dublin club recruit this calibre of player to the top tier of Irish basketball?

“I have coached Griffith College for the past six years and at no expense to the Swords Thunder the players I recruit can do their Masters at the college and it doesn’t cost a penny to look after them.”

Though their weekend hosts are minus some key names, Baker warns against complacency. “Demons have set the benchmark for the past three years and although losing Colin O’Reilly and American Lehmon Colbert they still have the nucleus of a very good young side and it will be a good game to gauge our progress.”

Meanwhile, the action in the Men’s Premier league will see Eanna hosting unbeaten Templeogue at Rathfarnham tomorrow.

DCU Saints coach Joey Boylan will be confident his side will take maximum points when they host UL Eagles with Killester hoping to get back to winning ways against Moycullen.

Unbeaten UCD Marian make the trip north to play Belfast Star with new Kubs coach Mark Ingle hoping to guide his side to their first win against Irish TV Tralee Warriors.

In the Women’s Super League Ambassador UCC Glanmire are sure to get a stern test for the visit of Wildcats to Upper Glanmire tomorrow. Killester host Portlaoise Panthers and Meteors good start to the season should continue when they host league debutants Mystics NUIG.

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