A new approach as Sam Armstrong signs on for North-West Thunder in NBL1

ALEX FAIR   THE ADVOCATE   Stability and a growth in professionalism were the key factors for the North-West Thunder when reappointing coach Sam Armstrong.

Armstrong has been locked in for another two seasons for the NBL1 club, which will take his tenure to five years, and will be provided more support, with another assistant coach and a team manager to be brought in.

The decision to not only continue with Armstrong, but to extend the coaching group around him, came after a post-season review after 14th place finish in its first NBL1 season, when Armstrong just had one assistant in Nick Haywood, with Ryan Carroll sharing the physio and team management duties.

“It will also allow us to spread a bit more of our coaching throughout the playing group and that is the direction we needed to take if we want to compete with the better teams in this league.

“This will be a huge help to me, as going back to the review process there was some things highlighted from the coaching side of things that I need to improve on and I welcome the challenge of trying to improve, and with that extra support around, not only the coaching staff, but the players will reap the benefits.

“This is a professional league and I think it will only get even more professional, so this is important.”

Armstrong said he and the club were confident this new approach with a more stable coaching group would also help when it came to recruitment.

“It will make conversations a little easier if you know what the future holds, and in the current landscape of basketball it is an exciting time to be involved, and you hope Tasmania will become a place where people will want to come play basketball,” he said.

“So knowing I am going to be here for the next two years, it is a short-term plan as well as a long-term plan rolled into one, so it about the direction of this club for the next two years.”

North-West Thunder chairman Tony Barker said it was an “easy” decision to continue with Armstrong, as having someone that has a “real passion” being a past player was important, saying the club had confidence in the direction he was taking it in.

“It is important if we want to be fair dinkum about chasing the pointy end of the season as this league is going ahead in leaps and bounds, so we needed to make a concerted effort to provide that support to him.”