Fury get stronger in search for silver

John Bunyan is hoping for another successful season for Fury
John Bunyan is hoping for another successful season for Fury

When Clark Eriksson Fury start their 21st season of Scottish National League Basketball on September 8, the quest for silverware in 18 National trophies and titles will be stronger than ever.

Last term saw Fury come runners-up in four National Championships.

The mens team were arguably Scotland’s most consistent team making the Final of the Scottish Cup and play-offs – but losing them both and being second in the league by a point.

Rivals, the Edinburgh Kings took two of these titles with Fury falling to St. Mirren in the Scottish Cup final despite disposing of the Saints twice by double figure margins in the league.

Fury blew away the Kings in the Cup semi-final by 28 points but lost two tight league matches to their capital rivals - enough to complete a hat trick of second places.

Fury, if anything, look stronger this season with all key players returning and former Scotland International Richard Thorpe back after a year abroad.

Thorpe, a deadly three point shooter will add to Fury’s defensive capabilities and he and Scottish Rocks pro stars - brothers Keith and Jonny Bunyan themselves long range experts, will look to spread their opponents’ defence as much as possible for big men Roni Gordon, Stu McKay and Frenchman Walter Lubeigt inside the paint.

Former Panathinaikos player, Greek-born Greg Foussas is another player to add a defensive intensity that Fury will focus on this season.

Scotland International Bryan Munnoch heads a group of quality younger players that will also add to the squad’s ability to play a variety of offences and defences.

Fury will however be without starting five guard Scott Russell for the first four games as he sits out a ban carried over from last term.

Fury head coach John Bunyan told Heraldsport: “We expect as usual to compete for a top four finish, that’s always our initial goal and in 14 seasons in the mens league we have always achieved that.

“While only taking the league title once, I have lost count of how many times we have been runners-up. There is probably no change in that ourselves and Edinburgh Kings are seen as title favorites but as usual we will both face tough games outwith our own encounters.

“St Mirren will be strong and Boroughmuir Blaze have definitely got the players to make an impact. Troon on the road will be tough and with Glasgow University having the ability to bring in quality foreign students they also will have a hand in deciding where any of the three trophies end up.

“We, of course, concern ourselves with what we are doing and I am making our defensive concepts slightly different and in turn a lot stronger. As still only one of three clubs in Scotland who contest all National Leagues there is pressure on us to continue to be one of the best clubs in the country.”

Bunyan expects both under-16 teams to be competing for trophies, plus the older men’s age-groups

Fury’s other two male teams, the junior and cadet men who compete at u18 and u-16 level, have a host of talented players in their line-ups with six players in each squad who have played for Scotland.

Fury’s junior men will be coached by Keith Bunyan with Neil Connell guiding the cadet boys.

The cadets will look to outstanding prospects Lithuanian Eddy Leginus and Daniel Tran to lead their side to honours, while the Juniors with Fraser Malcolm, Ben Chok, Kenny Makusha, six foot seven Rory Wilson and the explosive Connor Martin have a solid group of first and second year players.