Clark Relishing Great Britain Challenge

31 May 2006
By Soriebah Kajue, PA Sport

Great Britain women's basketball coach Mark Clark believes his side have "nothing to fear'' as they try and win promotion from EuroBasket Division B to A.

Clark, who was the assistant coach of the women's team that won bronze at the Commonwealth Games, was installed as the GB head coach last week and is eager to achieve similar success.

Great Britain have been drawn in Group B with Portugal, Luxembourg, Estonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina but Clark is still bullish about his team's chances.

He told PA Sport: "In our group we have Bosnia who are a tough team and Portugal who have a WNBA player in their team.

"Estonia don't have the standing but basketball is very big there as they are an eastern block country. Luxembourg are coached by a coach from the former Soviet Union and have a small group of excellent players.

"But the group shouldn't hold any fear for us, if we can get the players we want playing for us we have nothing to fear.

"I wouldn't be doing this job if I didn't feel that we could be competitive. I think this is the biggest job in the women's game and I have a huge responsibility to try and make us competitive before 2012.''

Clark, who only signed a contract for the duration of the qualification games, has the arduous task of gaining promotion to Division A, so that FIBA will guarantee GB a place at the 2012 London Olympics, as they are presently deemed not good enough for their automatic place as the home nation.

Two teams will be promoted to Division A from the women's EuroBasket which consist of two groups of four and five. The top two teams in each group will then play each other with home and away with the winner of those games advancing to Division A.

He added: "We have four qualifying games this year and four next year and if we can win two of those, that will leave us two and two going into the New Year.

"But I want to do well because if I do my contract will be extended and then I can really focus on the Olympics.

"I think we have a good as chance as any to be a success in Europe and at the 2012 Olympics.''

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