Jo Leedham says Great Britain women’s are headed into unchartered territory in Turkey this weekend as they continue their build-up towards the Olympic Games.
Tom Maher’s side take part in a Four-Nations tournament in Ankara that begins against Korea tonight, before further friendlies against Argentina on Saturday and with the hosts on Sunday.
All three of GB’s opponents are in the final stages of their build-up to the Olympic qualifying tournament which takes place in the Turkish capital later this month.
And that should provide the Games hosts with just the kind of fierce competition they require.
“This is brilliant preparation,” declared Cheshire-born Leedham. “What’s great about this tournament is that we have three teams we’ve never played before.
“They’ll have a different style and that’s something we need to see. We want to find out how we compete against different teams which is important for us.”
Leedham has been in impressive early form this summer for Team GB, fresh off a season with Australian WNBL club Bulleen Boomers.
Maher was her coach there, providing support to a player who, after overcoming a knee injury, will have a key role in London.
“I have a good relationship with him,” Leedham confirmed.
“He keeps me honest and tells me if I’m being lazy or whatever. That’s good to have. Playing a year in Australia gave me the chance to play in a physical league at a high level.
“That’s been good preparation. I was able to rest my knee and get healthy.”
Last weekend, GB split two internationals against Canada in Edinburgh to maintain a positive start to their steady lead-in towards the Olympics.
Turkey, runners-up in last summer’s EuroBasket, will be tough foes in their own backyard. So will Argentina and Korea, who each took silver at their respective continental championship in 2011.
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