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Basketball: Nigel perfect for Panthers; CONFIDENT: Brum chief Wilson backs Lloyd to rise to challenge.

Byline: By Colin Tattum

HERMAN Wilson today admitted that the choice of Nigel Lloyd as Birmingham Panthers' coach made perfect sense.

The former Birmingham Bullets legend has been asked to rekindle the kind of glory days he helped bring to the city as a player for the new franchise.

And although Wilson admitted he would have to work to a tight budget initially, he felt Lloyd would rise to the challenge.

"Nigel made a massive impact within the city as a player and a personality," said Panthers' chief executive Wilson.

"We needed someone like him so we could relate back to better days for basketball in Birmingham and excite the followers of the sport here again.

"Not only that, but he is not a bad coach. And what he has in mind, bringing the local and regional talent through, is part of the development philosophy we have here.

"Financially, there is not a lot of money right here, right now.

"But Nigel will be looking at blue-chip players to go with younger talent who he can work with next season.

"We are a new club and this is very much a growing period for us, and we want Nigel to be at the forefront of that as head coach."

One of the most productive and decorated players in British hoops, Lloyd has yet to get his hands on silverware as a coach.

In his sixth and final season at Milton Keynes Lions, they led the BBL but couldn't see things through as a disastrous losing streak resulted in them missing the play-offs altogether.

Wilson said: "Nigel has good man-management skills, which will be important at the professional end of the club, and in the community and corporate fields.

"He has got a great insight and experience in the game and although the only thing missing as a coach is trophies and silverware, we are confident Nigel can achieve that here, given a bit of time and patience as we evolve as a club."

Meanwhile, Panthers are currently deciding on what colours they should wear and are set to canvas fans' opinion via the Birmingham Mail.


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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:May 10, 2007
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