CWA Lynn Fury celebrated a fine year in relaxed manner at their annual presentation evening held at Lynnsport on Saturday with Eivydas Aleska being crowned as the team’s Most Valuable Player.
Given the excellent performance of the senior side in reaching the final of the National League Division Four Play-Offs it was only fitting the awards for that team should provide the climax of an excellent occasion.
Nevertheless the evening was equally about all the things which go to make up a club. Coach James Bamfield highlighted the fact that the public face of the club is only a small part of the overall picture with over 120 junior players in training.
He praised the work of all those behind the scenes helping to create a club culture and support the developing talent in the junior sections which hold the key to the club’s future.
The gathering was addressed by Sheffield Arrows head coach, Andrew Purnell. Arrows are a former club of Bamfield’s and currently sit in the Second Division of the National League structure.
Purnell had been present at both the play-off quarter final and final. He praised the side for their style of play, ability and work ethic. He noted that many teams in their league would envy the fan base of the team and felt that Fury would be dangerous opponents, even for teams in that higher division.
Purnell spoke about his motivation and the impact the film ‘Hoops Dreams’ and athlete Michael Johnson’s autobiography had on this life. He spoke of how he managed small goals on the way to achieving his dream of playing basketball in America and as a professional in Europe.
Unfortunately his career was cut short at 21 by a serious shoulder injury but the same determination helped him to make a better than expected recovery. His message to young players was that a plan and hard work can help you to achieve your life ambitions.
In presenting awards to all sections of the club, Bamfield praised the effort and hard work of players which has led to improving results at every level.
Each team was recognised with awards presented for Most Improved Player, Coaches Award, Defensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player at every level.
At senior level, Aleska’s contribution to the side had not gone unnoticed by fans who regularly chanted MVP when he received the ball during the play-off run. He produced his best performance of the season in the final at Sheffield.
The team’s defensive player of the year, for the second consecutive season, was Richard Milbourne. The club captain was another to excel during the play-offs regularly being asked to defend the opposition’s leading scorer. Perhaps his best display came at Brentwood when he shut down a player who had enjoyed a 30-point game against Fury during the regular season.
The evening ended with recognition of the back room staff who contribute so much time to the club including Club Volunteer of the Year Jo Tidman and Clubman of the Year Lukas Petreska.
Fury remains in Division Four next season as the play-off run is not taken into account when deciding promotion. There was a clear determination that next season an improved regular season record is the ultimate goal with a view to taking the step up to the next level.