Marc Steutel insists he is ready for the challenge of coaching Great Britain.

Filling the void left by Nate Reinking’s unavailability due to commitments with the NBA G-League’s Canton Charge, the 35-year-old will fly to Montenegro on Sunday with an as yet unfinalised 14-man roster ahead of next Friday’s opening EuroBasket qualifier.

With Germany to follow four days later, plenty in the game have been openly questioned whether Steutel – who has never been a head coach above NBL Division 1 level – has the experience to cope with the position.

But having spent the past two years working as an assistant for GB under Alberto Lorenzo and subsequently Reinking, the Northumbria University playcaller plans to take his interim elevation in his stride.

“I guess there are two ways to look at it,” he said. “I’m very self-aware about how people can talk about the level I coach at. The year I led the (Great Britain) Under-20s in Division A was a learning opportunity.

“I don’t care what any coach in the world says at any level, we have to be reflective and to learn. The higher the level you’re exposed to, the more you’re going to learn. So the question is valid and fair.

“I’m very reflective and aware of who I am as a coach. You look at your CV, the piece of paper that says I’ve done this. Coaching is about people and relationships.

“Everybody in the world has a tactical approach. I’m not playing down the level of opposition we’re playing against. The 26th and 17th ranked team in the world. I’m fully aware of the challenge.

“The question I asked myself when the opportunity was firmly offered was ‘what do I think is going to benefit the players?’ I’m not saying that with any air of arrogance. I just think in terms of continuity, my commitment is to the programme and the players and I absolutely love working with them.”

Help secure the future of MVP  – donate and become a site supporter now.

Reinking, he admits, has been heavily involved behind the scenes in finalising the roster for these two contests with encouragement thrown Steutel’s way.

But it will be the latter running practice over the next week and sat on the bench and in control next Friday, a change of seats that brings an inevitable switch of pace as GB move up to a higher level than they have competed at during the past 18 months.

“I’m confident that over the previous three windows I’ve been involved, I’ve been able to offer contributions positively to get the outcome we’ve wanted,” Steutel, who has also been working with Newcastle Eagles WBBL team, added.

“Is there a difference from assisting and being in a nice position where you can throw ideas at the head coach – and they can take them or reject them? Of course there is.

“But the reality of the new window means we’ll have limited practice time, the ball gets thrown up and we have to do what we can.

“Yes, there are challenges. But basketball is basketball. Montenegro were competing in the World Cup. A very strong roster. But they’re going through some changes. The assistant coach has stepped up to be the head coach.

“So there are all these things going on. But they’re a powerhouse. It’s embedded in their culture. It’s a challenge but I’m looking forward to it.”


Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • MySpace
  • Print

You must be logged in to post a comment Login