New boss for Storm this term

New Hemel Storm head coach Rikki Broadmore.
New Hemel Storm head coach Rikki Broadmore.

Hemel Storm have appointed a new head coach following the departure of former boss Robert Youngblood.

Rikki Broadmore has joined the club as new head coach ahead of the 2019/20 season, which starts in September.

Youngblood resigned in June after two years at the helm, where he took Storm to National Cup success and the and play-off final in 2018.

Broadmore is regarded as one of the best up-and-coming coaches in the country, with honours earned over the last ten years as a head coach at junior level and as an assistant for senior teams.

He enjoyed success at Barking Abbey Academy and with England as the head coach of the under-14s girls.

He has worked with some of the UK’s best coaches in Lloyd Gardner, James Vear and Mark Clark, and has grown a reputation as a skills coach. In the off-season he has worked with pro and international players, including British internationals Josh Steel, Carl Wheatle and Robert Gilchrist.

Meanwhile, Michael Darlow has been appointed as the new assistant coach. A fan favourite on the court, Storm supporters have watched him develop from a junior to an integral part of the senior team.

Frustratingly, last year Darlow was unable to play due to an injury, which is still troubling him.

His new role will give him a chance to continue to make a positive impact on the team and the club hopes he can still make it back to play later in the season.

Dane Frost is remaining as the team’s performance analyst, while David Allin will continue to be the head coach of Storm’s second team, who this year will compete in NBL Division Three East following a restructuring of the leagues.

Storm’s director of basketball Jon Burnell said: “I am really pleased to be able to announce our coaching team.

“We are looking into the future with a young, hungry and exciting combination of coaching capability that will be supported by experienced coaching mentors at all levels.

“Planning for next season is well underway and I think we will be playing a brand of basketball that our players and fans will enjoy.”

On the playing side, the club has confirmed that three key players from last term will be staying put.

Captain Bode Adeluola will be returning for his eighth season with Hemel and sharp-shooter Jack Burnell will be staying on for his fifth campaign in Storm colours.

And seven-footer Lee Hodges [previously Greenan] is also returning to Storm for the 2019/2020 season.

The former Essex Leopards and Great Britain under-20s big man has arguably been the most dominating player in the league over the past few campaigns.

And Sam Newman is the club’s first new face. The former Essex Leopards captain, Great Britain under-20s and Elite Academy Basketball League MVP is one of the league’s finest young talents.

The 23-year-old can score, pass and play great defence, epitomised by his 26 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in a game against Storm in February.

Meanwhile, the club confirmed they are entering a fourth year of kit sponsorship with McDonald’s franchisee Alan Butchers, who has restaurants at Maylands Avenue, Jarmans Park, Apsley and Bourne End.

Healthcare provider OSD Healthcare is to become a kit vest sponsor for the next two seasons.