WIND OF CHANGE BLOWS FULL FORCE

Leeds Force have changed coaches – just four days before the start off the new BBL season.

Danny Nelson has been confirmed as their new head coach, replacing Finnish veteran Mika Turunen – only appointed two months ago – who has left with immediate effect.

The Irishman arrives after a season in charge of Nordlingen Giants in Germany’s Pro B following on from spells as assistant for Pro A outfit Kirchhiem Knights and with MHP Ludwigsburg in the top tier of German basketball, where he served as Under-19 boss..

Nelson also brings international experience to Leeds having been a video scout for the Australian men’s national team while also serving on the staff of Perth Wildcats.

However he arrives amid turmoil at the club with general manager and part-owner Mark Mills leaving last week to close a summer that also saw Matt Newby sever his links with the franchise – with club director, Scott Carter taking on the Managing Director’s role and Adoniah Lewis recruited as the day-to-day chief.

And there are likely to be some late line-up changes by Nelson with veteran forward Olu Babalola the first to depart.

“We will solidify as a unit over the next few weeks,” Nelson said. “We will work diligently to deliver an excellent experience for our supporters and we are eager to provide competitive, exciting and successful basketball that our fans can be proud of. I look forward to meeting all the Force Community and I wish everybody and enjoyable and healthy season.”

Force’s season starts this Friday at the Carnegie Sports Arena where they welcome the Newcastle Eagles and they will be tipped to struggle even more than before this term with the combustible Turunen exiting without ever coaching a game.

“Firstly I would like to thank Mika for his work but it was a situation that wasn’t going to work out and it was much better for us to make a change as soon as possible rather than make do,” said Carter.

“Danny has brought a fresh approach to the team and really rejuvenated the playing roster. It will take time for him to stamp his authority on how we play but I am confident that in the long run it is the right decision for us to have a successful season.”

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