Following their silver medal success in the European Championships, the FIMBA GB Wolfpack +40 Men will be looking at going one better at the World Cup in Croatia later this year.
The final selection camp took place in the Nottingham Wildcats Arena at the weekend and saw the squad work on various shooting drills and set plays before a scrimmage where the coaching team were able to try out different personnel and see how they worked together.
With an expanded squad and injuries, it has not been easy for Head Coach Neil “Mac” McElduff, but he has picked a team of 10 that he believes have the best on court cohesion and have the best chance of winning Gold. With a mix of National League, BBL, Overseas and International experience, the squad boasts a plethora of MVPs and National Champions who have battled together and against each other for many years and all embrace the Wolfpack mentality the team has become known for.
Two notable absentees are top points scorer and point guard, Steven Gayle, who unfortunately will not have recovered in time from his knee surgery. However, Steve will continue to be supporting and helping the team as Assistant Coach. Captain Adam Slater will also not be travelling as he is expecting his first child around the tournament, both will be missed.
I have been really pleased with how the new guys have embraced the Wolfpack mentality, which is just as important as playing ability within this team. Steve and Adam will be hugely missed, but I am delighted to include the talent and experience of Woody (Mark Woodhouse) and Pete (Haling) to the team. I am lucky to have a core set of players who are mainstays on my teamsheet but the other spots were difficult to fill and I am encouraged that the wider squad have asked to continue to train with us for other tournaments we will enter in 2023 and the European Championships next summer, showing how tight this group of players are. With a different look squad from Malaga, we will need to change our offence ideas to play to our new strengths but what will not change is the up-tempo, high energy that we play with.FIMBA GB Wolfpack Head Coach – Neil McElduff
Sasha McCarthy will continue to support Coach Mac as Team Manager and Amanda Sibanda will also travel with the team as their physio. Also returning from the successful European Championship team are Aitor Estrada, Bruce Lauder, Jono Hart, Marcus Knight, Roderick Wellington and Ryan Peters. They will be joined by new additions, Adam Hayle, Kev Thomas, Mark Woodhouse and Peter Haling.
Adam and Kevin joined up with the Wolfpack after catching Coach Mac’s eye in the tournament for Steven Gayle’s operation last year. National League point guard, Adam, is a reliable ball handler who controls the offence and protects the ball well and Kevin, a two time GB Masters and FIBA 3×3 Cardiff Champion, is consistently the top scorer for his current team, WEBBA.
6’8″ forward, Mark “Woody” Woodhouse brings a huge amount of experience to the team having played at North Carolina A&T State University as well as a successful professional career in Belgium, Spain, UK and Iceland where he was named Bosman of the year. In the UK, he had stints in the BBL with Plymouth Raiders and NBL with Derby Trailblazers, winning Division 1 in 2009 and the National Trophy in 2011.
At 6’4″, Belgian born Peter Haling is a versatile guard able to comfortably play most positions on the floor, adding a useful dimension for Coach Mac. Playing the majority of his professional career in Belgium for various teams, Peter had his most successful spell at Clem Scherpenheuvel helping them rise through the ranks from Division 5 to the Division 3 title in just 4 seasons. After moving to the UK, Peter was part of the Surrey Scorchers squad in the BBL and supported players on court with his off-screen shooting, but also off it with injury rehabilitation support for the team.
FIMBA GB +40 Men’s Team for the World Cup in Croatia 2023