Gavin LoveThe Plymouth Raiders have announced that after an exhaustive selection process, they have appointed former Raiders captain, Gavin Love as their new Head Coach.

“We’re extremely excited by today’s appointment,” said Raiders Chairman Bob Widdecombe. “This is the start of a new era and an exciting period in the life of the Plymouth Raiders. Gavin has come to the club and brought a lot of new ideas, contacts and enthusiasm, and has been working hard already at putting together a tough and competitive squad for the new season.”

Love joined the Raiders half way through last season as an assistant coach, following a career as a player that spanned 13 years, and saw him lead the team into the BBL, establishing himself a reputation as a gritty, tough and talented competitor in a role occupied predominantly by American players on most other teams in the league.

“This is a great opportunity for me,” said Love, “and I’m confident that I can put a team together that will excite the fans and give us a great chance to get the club back to where it deserves to be. I can’t wait for the players to get here now and to start pre season training. The team I want in place will be dynamic, exciting and I want us to play a brand of basketball that fans will want to come and watch.”

At the same time as announcing Love as Head Coach, the Raiders have announced that former Raiders player Mark Cahill will be returning to the team as Strength & Conditioning Coach as part of a support team that also includes Andy Murphy – the team’s new Sports Injury Consultant.

“We’ll be training eight times a week,” said Love. “That’s made up with five on court sessions, and three strength and conditioning sessions. Mark is going to be very active with the team, devising individual workout programmes for every player. We want to be the team in the best shape in the BBL this year – it’s a long season, and the guys have to be ready for it. Our pre-season is going to be really intense as well, with the Royal Navy playing a huge part in fitness and team bonding work. I really can’t describe how excited I am to get started.”

The Raiders are delighted that Consultant Andy Murphy has offered his services to the team on a formal basis. He has treated James Noel, Eric Flato, DeAntoinne Beasley and Terrence Durham in recent years and will be working closely with Love, Cahill and the Raiders’ physio team.

Behind the scenes, Love is confident that in the next couple of days, the club will be in a position to announce one, if not two new signings. “I hate to think what my phone bill will be!” added Love. “I’ve talked to a lot of players and agents in the last week, and offered contracts to a couple of new players. We should hear back from them today or tomorrow.”