Fisher: "We Have Made History" -

Fisher: “We Have Made History”

Simon FisherEngland Under-16 Head coach Simon Fisher has recognised the sheer enormity of his team’s 94-84 overtime victory over Israel yesterday at the Division B European Championships, ensuring promotion to Division A next season.

The team has become the first England side to gain promotion since the competition took a two-tier format 8 years ago.

Fisher is proud of what his team has achieved, but recognises there is still a job to be done, with the final scheduled against Slovenia tonight:

“We still have to complete the story, but we have made history and something we can always be proud of.

“The character shown by the team was just next level, to play an exceptionally talented Israel team in those conditions, and give as good as we got was unbelievable and a testament to these players’ resolve. As head coach I have to thank the players, staff and all the parents for their role in this journey.”

“The game itself is one we can look back now and think it was sweeter to do it in overtime, but at the time coaching in the moment, we had to dig deep, then deeper, and deeper still in overtime to get the result that everyone here seemed to want from ourselves to other teams and the locals.”

He singled out Nicholas Bohling, who finished with 11 points on 5/7 shooting-more than he has scored in all the previous games combined, as the “x factor”:

“The players played hard, and it is hard to single out any players, but in the team meeting the night before we stressed that someone would be the x factor – yesterday that was our vice-captain Nicholas Bohling, he was outstanding in the 19 mins he played, and showed the strength in this team is the team, with another player stepping up to rise to the challenge.

Of course in a team like this we have strong performances, and some players didn’t get on, but that shouldn’t under value their role, every player is important to our success, they have been part of the journey and all were ready if called upon, we have to, as coaches, determine the game plan, and call the game as we see it, but every player deserves to be credited as the history makers!”

And as Fisher tries to complete a perfect ending to his tenure with the England under-16s, he leaves some big shoes to fill for whoever takes on the role next season and urges them to not forget those that got them there:

“Whatever happens and whomever is in charge next year at U16 (and it wont be me) they should relish the opportunity that A Division status brings, but always remember the 95 group that got us there, and understand the mechanics that made this team a promotion team.”

England take on Slovenia at 19:30 UK time tonight. You can follow the live play by play on FIBA Livestats.

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