Great Britain: Clark Fears Estonia And Portugal Threats

23 August 2006
By Rory Dollard, PA Sport

Great Britain coach Mark Clark has revealed that he sees Estonia and Portugal as his side's main rivals ahead of the EuroBasket Women qualifiers.

All three are in Division B, Group B of the qualifiers where they join Luxembourg and Bosnia & Herzegovina.

But Clark, whose side face the Estonians away from home in their September 9 opener, is clear about which sides he is most concerned about.

"We've got a hard game going away to Estonia first up and I think they'll be tough," he told PA Sport.

"Any team from the former Yugoslavia is going to have a good basketball grounding and it'll be a hard game.

"Portugal are also good. They have a couple of girls who play in the States and could be very strong so those two are our main competition in the group."

Clark also confirmed that he would be retaining a 16-strong party during the qualifiers before naming a conventional 12 person squad for match days.

"We've got 16 players joining up for training in Cardiff this week and we'll be keeping that number.

"We've got a couple of younger players who I think would benefit from the experience of being with the team and I also want to keep cover for injuries so we'll cut to 12 for each match."

Clark's side, meanwhile, won one and lost one against Norway at the weekend.

They were in the lead for much of the first match before a late rally from Norway saw them steal a 63-60 victory.

Julie Page top-scored for Great Britain with 14 points.

They made amends for that in their follow-up match, winning 72-48 as Page again out-scored her team-mates with 14 points as they took advantage of an under-par second-half performance from the Norwegians.

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