Lions confirm Mike will stay next season

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LIONS chief executive Vince Macaulay has categorically thrown his support behind Mike New to lead the British Basketball League club next season.

New’s future as head coach had been in doubt after Lions’ play-off missing campaign, but after a formal season review in recent days, Macaulay has put an end to speculation, saying his rookie boss will remain at the helm for next season.

“Every coach we’ve had who hasn’t made the play-offs, I’ve let go, including myself,” said Macaulay. “But Mike New will be back, no question.

“He’s a key individual in our organisation and he’s still on a learning curve, so I’m putting things around to help him.”

The faith being shown in him will be a big relief to New who will have to sit and watch this weekend’s play-off semi-finals from afar after Lions finished the season in 10th place.

“It was challenging to get all the guys to play together, first of all, and then play together consistently,” said New, who called time on his own playing career to move onto the bench last summer.

“It’s been a learning process for a lot of the young guys as several of them were in their first professional jobs. But I’m disappointed we didn’t make the play-offs.

“We lost a lot of close games in which we didn’t quite have the experience to finish it off. But everyone can see we got better as the season went on, it’s just we left it too late. Now I’d like to keep the nucleus of the side together.”