Welcome back to 2024 and a massive week for Brewers Basketball as we approach the Brewers Bowl.
To mark this historic event we have brought together Brewers Head Coach Adam Lloyd and Brewers Lite Head Coach Ben Scott to add a little fizz to proceedings.
So here we are, heading towards the end of the North Wales Basketball Association’s initial league phase and we have the Brewers Bowl, the first ever encounter between Brewers and Brewers Lite!
AL: Yeah, it’s a massive game for us, made even bigger by the fact that if we win, we will put ourselves among the top teams in the division after the league splits!
But even if that were not the case, it’s an historic day for the club.
BS: When we launched Brewers Lite we always knew this day would come and we had one eye on it. As a development team, the Lite were not setting targets based on league position or winrs, but we always saw this one coming down the line and knew there would be a little spice!
You mentioned expectations, with two games still to go for the Lite are you surprised by what you’ve achieved so far?
BS: At the start of the season it’s always tricky to predict. How will new and old players gel and, for the Lite in particular, how will young players cope with stepping up to senior basketball?
To say I’m surprised isn’t fair, but I’m proud of how far we have come in a short space of time. We’ve attracted a lot of new players – including some young lads with huge potential – and they have listened, worked hard and exceeded any expectations we had at the start of the season.
AL: For the Brewers team there was always an ambition to improve on last season. We put in a strong foundation last year and were fortunate enough to retain that this season as a building block.
That consistency has been key to us kicking on and taking the game to teams that previously would not have considered us contenders.
For borth teams the Brewers Bowl is the penultimate game of this phase and a win would be huge for us as we look to finish in the best possible position.
But we have learned from being that team that was on the receiving end for a while – we are not taking the Lite lightly. They have some experienced heads guiding them and a lot of talent and we will treat them with respect while remaining laser-focused on the task at hand.
Is it right to say that this game is a testament to the bigger vision for the club?
AL: I think so yes. Our goal has always been to grow basketball in Chester and North Wales, We want more people to play, more people to set up their own clubs, more people to officiate and more people to come and watch.
Local league basketball can generate a great atmosphere with the right people around and we do everything we can to make that happen.
BS: A good example is Brewers Lite. We have debated for some time whether we could sustain a second team, but we have attracted so many players to the club simply by the environment we have created, that we couldn’t resist any longer.
By doing it we have double the amount of opportunities people have to play competitively and given young players who maybe love the game but got cut at an early age or who have been at clubs with no adult set-up the chance to continue playing.
And as well as the important effect on the league positions the Brewers Bowl will have, there is an actual trophy at stake here too right?
AL: Indeed, the Brewers Bowl is an actual trophy and one team will emerge proudly holding it aloft when the dust settles at Blacon.
It’s a great additional motivation and also good for club morale, as it gets the banter going between the teams!
BS: It has been fun – in the week leading up to this game we had two other important games for the Brewers and Brewers Lite. Coming straight back in after Christmas into that schedule, having something a bit more fun kept everyone relaxed and made a physically challenging week a lot easier.
Whatever the result, it’ll be a great game – and we’ll all enjoy breaking down all the incidents and controversies over a pint for years to come!