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Basketball: Nigel on the prowl again.

Byline: By Colin Tattum

NIGEL Lloyd today told spoke of his excitement at being appointed Birmingham Panthers' first head coach.

And he vowed he would put the pride back in Brum basketball after the depressing end to the Birmingham Bullets' era.

Lloyd, 45, who will be assisted by another Bullets legend Clive Allen and Paul Douglas, said: "I am really excited about this.

"The circumstances of how Bullets finished was difficult for everyone, especially the fans after what happened in the years under Harry Wrublewski.

"Now, it's a new start, a clean slate for basketball in Birmingham and the first thing I'd like to do as coach is bring a little pride back.

"When I was a player here I never wanted to go anywhere else. Nowadays, players don't feel like that about their clubs, they don't take pride in the communities, the place where they are.

"Myself, Clive, Tony Simms and Tony Dorsey, we all felt Bullets were special.

"Our heart and soul was in Bullets, we didn't just want to bale out as soon as we could.

"That is how I want it to be. I want players to give their best, be committed to the club and what it stands for, and bring a winning attitude."

Lloyd's appointment was a smart move by chief executive Herman Wilson and his fellow directors.

And bringing back Allen to the city's professional hoops scene has also been well received. Bullets may be no more, but they have kept alive its spirit from the glory days.

Lloyd, for seven seasons a Bullets icon and the playmaker behind the BBL play-off Championships in 1996 and 1998, vowed that his team would be good to watch.

"I am not going to predict that we will win the title straight away, we are building from scratch, but to get the team back up where Bullets were a few years ago is the goal," he said.

"We were always in the hunt and competing on a regular basis."

"As for our style," Lloyd continued, "I want us to be uptempo, get up and down the court and be exciting.

"I hate to say it, but budget restrictions do dictate what players you can get. You can't just say T want this, that, this, that'.

"But I intend to make sure that the team is competitive and the players have that heart and desire, and a determination to get better."

CAPTION(S):

HERMAN WILSON.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:May 4, 2007
Words:408
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