When FIMBA GB decided to enter men’s teams from the UK into the European Championships for the first time, several camps and selection weekends took place across the UK as they looked for the best talent to give the best chance of medals in the 2020 event.
With the onset of Covid in 2019, the event was delayed until 2022, with training camps not able to re-open until May 2021. When they did, the 40’s and 45’s trained together with radical changes to both teams as new players became eligible and current players stepped into different age groups. This continued for the next few months as different player combinations were tried between the age groups, culminating in the GB Masters Summer Madness Tournament in September, where the o40s won – full report available here.
In October, the two teams split with hugely successful coach Neil McElduff moving over from the o45 Women’s team to take on the reigns of the o40 Men. With his strong focus on teamwork both on and off the court he used the famous phrase from Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, “the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack” and so the Wolfpack was born.
Since then, the Wolfpack have gone from strength to strength with a real focus on high-tempo, team basketball and Coach Mac has added some key signings that are a perfect fit both on and off-court. The whole Wolfpack works hard for each other and puts the needs of the team first, whether they are a starter or at the end of the bench – encouraging, helping and supporting each other in games, at training camps and in the weeks in-between.
40 days to go. The journey is almost done, and we are in good shape. We have a nice balance to the squad and have shaped our way of playing which is hard nosed defence and fast paced positionless offence. These guys are great to work with, they are in good shape physically and know their roles. We have some great individual talent but the strength of the wolf is the pack and this pack is strong on and off the court. We are ready. Let’s go!
Neil McElduff, FIMBA GB o40 Men’s Head Coach
Captain Adam Slater
Captained by ex-Manchester Magic and Giants player, Adam Slater, the Wolfpack come from all corners of the UK, including Guernsey, and have gelled naturally since Day 1.
As the team enters our last training weekend, the excitement for the tournament is starting to grow. We have gelled well as a team so the final preparations are about fine tuning and making sure we are all on the same page with the framework coach Mac has put in for us. Because when it comes to tournaments it’s all about the detail and making sure we play a consistently high level of basketball.
Adam Slater, FIMBA GB o40 Men’s Captain