Half Term Report : Could do better at Towers ?
Lino Frattin (pictured right) is the new boy on the block at Exide London Towers this season, trading his successful past as an assistant in Italy for the top job at the dethroned capital kings. Despite the immensely positive pre-season victory over top European side, Towers have really yet to fire on all cylinders in the first half of the campaign.
For Field General Danny Lewsi (pictured below), his extended stay in London has brought much success both for his club and on a personal level. Finding himself briefly replaced in the starting line up has put a new challenge in his way and with a recent run of victories, Lewis is leading Towers back up the League.
Britball editor Mark Woods caught up with the duo and asked them for a status report..
Three months into your season, how would you assess your performance and that of your team so far ?
LF: We have had a lot of up and downs. We're still trying to achieve a communion between players so that we can realise the potential that we have for an effective offense and defence. There have been some very good spurts and some low lows, but we just have to find consistency in practices. We've had some small injury problems but those have hurt our practices and if we can shake that off, we will improve a lot more.
DL: We're coming together, focusing in on our strengths more than our weaknesses. We've been coming through tough games and no where where your opponent is in the League, they are tough games.
The recent public statements attributed to Danny Lewis seemed to criticise the chemistry of the team. How satisfied are you with that at present ?
DL: I consider that I was misquoted a little bit. We work better with different line ups. If we stay with one during the whole game then things aren't going to work out for us. Sometimes you need a big line up, sometimes you need a small line up. When we have a smaller line up, we can get quick points faster. With a bigger team in, we're trying to get fouls or stop our opponents scoring.
LF: For us, the experience of the players we have has brought them to be a focal point of offense in the teams they were playing for. It's a matter of meshing theses strong personalities and having them play together. This could apply also to the players on the bench. Anyone could be a starter and we just have to play together knowing everyone will get their personal satisfaction within a team concept.
Having seen Manchester and Sheffield, can Towers still win the league this year?
LF: Yes. I haven't seen any team yet that is so much stronger than they will stop any other team winning.
DL: Yes, there are two teams above us with four losses and another two teams with one loss in Manchester and Sheffield. We have to take wins off them. The important thing is to take one game at a time and concentrate. If we get the wins, we're right back in it.
What about your own personnel? Can you foresee any changes ?
LF: I can never say that I won't be making any changes but I am perfectly satisfied with the personnel I have now. My intention is to work with this team to have them perform at their best.
What about the other sides. Who has impressed you?
LF: Mostly Sheffield for the consistency they've been having. Manchester still has a lot to improve and also by the words of their coach, they can play better as a team. They certainly have the personnel. Then outside of those two, I really haven't seen anything out of the ordinary.
Have you any regrets about coming back ?
DL: No regrets at all. I've been here five years and I love it. People hate to lose, I hate to lose and it's frustrating after a while, especially when it's consecutive. It's a professional game, you have to take the good with the bad and next game come out to play. I go to practice every day to hold on to my position.
Compare your situation here with Italy. How would you assess the difference between the A1 League and Bud League ?
LF: You couldn't compare the two. You could compare the A2 to this league but here there are 5 Americans. In Italy there are only 2 foreign players per team. The difference in reality is that here there is a lot less size, a lot given on personal initiative and not much of team work and in general, I must say the execution of both sides of the floor, offensively and defensively is higher in Italy. It's no surprise that the British league has to improve to get more of a name in European scenario.
So with your contacts is there any chance of bringing in Carlton Myers to the Towers line up ?
LF: I don't think so ! He's making a little bit too much money in Italy. But his father is English so who knows ?
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