The Oaklands Wolves Division 1 men will have a new coach for the 2021/22 season as experienced play caller Lee Ryan moves over to coach Mens NBL
The Oaklands College Head of Performance will be taking a side step from the WBBL after 5 successful seasons as Oaklands now look to establish themselves at the top of the men’s game. Coach Ryan’s first task will be to replicate his junior player development model in the NBL, one that has become synonymous with the Oaklands WBBL program since its inception. Coach Ryan embarks on his 10th year at Oaklands which has seen him transform the academy on both the men’s and women’s sides to one of the premier programs in the UK. A coaching career spanning 20 years, Coach Ryan has held numerous regional, national, and international roles during his time on the sidelines.
He had this to say about the new role “I am personally really looking forward to the challenge in the NBL; the strength in the league this year looks phenomenal, which is exactly the environment we want for our players to be in and to get tested week in, week out. It will be a steep learning curve but one we will all embrace every minute of.”
He continues “Its been a long journey to get the boy’s program to this level. I want to say a huge thank you to Thomas Baker and Dave Ryan, both did a fantastic job last season in our transition year from Essex Leopards to Oaklands Wolves. They recognised the opportunity and vision for the team and put in so much work behind the scenes to make it happen. This year we are fully amalgamating the EABL academy and the D1 mens program. It is our aim to create a centre of excellence that has the strongest platform for the best junior athletes in the country and this move takes us a big step closer!”
Based in St Albans, Hertfordshire, Oaklands College Wolves are fast becoming a national hub of sporting excellence with successes across multiple sporting fronts. Now with the academy set to take centre stage in the English NBL’s top division, Oaklands Basketball Director Michael Ball commented on the direction of travel for the Wolves.
“The challenge ahead is a big one for our program, but one we believe in and therefore need to put all our resources behind. It is unique to effectively have a professional setup for junior athletes in this country; but that is what we are creating here at Oaklands. By bringing the senior team into the academic timetable at the college we can provide the best environment for player achievement on all fronts with Zero compromise. Moving Lee over to the D1 makes complete sense; I have worked alongside him for 20 years and seen his phenomenal ability to consistently guide elite juniors to the highest levels. His continued role as EABL head coach means a smooth transition for the season ahead; with a setup we are all proud to be championing for the British Game.”
See Oaklands squad unfold with the first announcements tomorrow.