Last week Aces played their final game of the 2016/17 British Wheelchair Basketball Division 3 South & West season. It has been a season of ups and downs for Aces as a whole but one we can ultimately be proud of.

Starting with the junior section of the club. Both the U15s and U19s finished the season in 4th place in their respective leagues. The U15s under the stewardship of Jez Winsborrow assisted by Kathy Beaumont and Zviko Chigumba showed a lot of promise throughout the three rounds of Junior League. The 2017/18 season should be one to watch with the U15s wanting to make the finals.

The U19s team was a combination between Aces and Blackhawks (Aces Hawks), which although the U19s finished 4th the season proved to be quite successful with regards to how the team jelled. Once again, the U19s were coached by Patrick O’Donovan and Andy White, who would both like to take this opportunity to thank the team for working with them whilst they were working towards their level 2 qualifications, your support and patience was greatly appreciated by both coaches.

Like most seasons in the U19s setup we had a few players aged out this season, so once again a thank you to both Charlotte Thornton-White and Euan Lorant for their contribution to Aces/Aces Hawks. A thank you has to also go out to Alice Thornton-White who although was unable to play for the U19s this season due to university commitments has also aged out.

Finally on behalf of all coaches, players, team managers and support staff we would like to thank all the parents, carers and other spectators for your support and commitment shown to the junior section of the club.

Away from the competitive side of the juniors, we can celebrate the fact that we have welcomed some new players to the team across both age groups. We also have to thank Roger Budd and his team at Kids in Sport for funding new chairs for two of our U15s, PJ and Matt.

Moving on to the senior side. It has been a season of challenges for the national league side who after a couple of difficult seasons found themselves back in division 3 ready to regroup and rebuild after several retirements.

The season started off slowly after a postponed game and then a loss to Worcester Wolves to start the season, but the making of a good side was there for everybody to see.

Unfortunately the season proved to be a difficult one for the national league side as far as injuries went. Early on we lost the experience of Barry Wells, Phil Tew and Matt Fox due to injury/illness. We also lost Chris Rattenbury for several months due to illness. Everybody at Aces would like to wish you all the very best with your continuing recoveries respectively.

Despite the injuries the national league side really started to click and that was soon followed by a nice little undefeated streak mid-season, before the lack of the depth soon showed itself as the season came to a close.

Like the junior section, away from the competitiveness of the national league, some fresh faces in Zviko Chigumba, Jonny Holloway, Gracie Matthews and Ben Pritchard joined the senior side attending training sessions and/or games. All making valuable contributions to the club in the process.

With the hard work set to continue during the off season, the 2017/18 season is one the team can really look forward to with the hope of making good strides forward and really building on the hard work of the team this season.

Everybody involved with the national league side would like to thank the families and supporters who made their presence known both at home and away this season. Your support was not only heard but appreciated also. A thank you also has to be sent to Livv and the patients at the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital for promoting our home games and attending them when possible, thank you.

From everybody at Aces, bring on next season!

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