Category: Academy

Manchester Magic and Mystics Academy

Manchester Magic and Mystics EABL and WEABL Awards 2023

EABL and WEABL Regular Season Award Winners Announced

The 2022/23 EABL regular season provided some stunning performances and campaigns worthy of recognition.

With MVP, All-Conference 1st and 2nd teams, Most Improved Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, U17 Player of the Year and Coach of the Year honours available across both the North and South Conferences, the end-of-season awards are a great chance to single out some of those great contributions to the 2022/23 season.

All Conference 1st Team

Manchester duo Joe Buchanan (19.9PPG) and Ben Brown (17.9PPG) both make the cut after helping Magic to a 9-5 season.

All Conference 2nd Team

Matt Goodwin (20.1PPG, 3.1SPG) finished fourth in the EABL scoring charts and second in the steals list, making him a logical choice.

U17 Player of the Year

Awarded to the best Year 12 players from across the league, Manchester’s Matt Goodwin has been recognised.

Sealing conference 2nd team honours, despite his young age, it’s no surprise to see Goodwin singled out here as one of the best U17s in the EABL this season.

Words and Image Credits: EABL

After a high-quality regular season, the WEABL awards have now been announced.

With MVP, All-Conference 1st and 2nd teams, Most Improved Player, Defensive POTY, U17 POTY and Coach of the Year awards up for grabs across both the North and South conferences, the honours represented an excellent opportunity to recognise some great performances from the 2022/23 campaign.


After helping Manchester to a 6-3 record and second spot in the North, Mystics’ standout Isobel Robinson has earned MVP honours.

Collecting the league’s second-highest efficiency at 23.6, plus a WEABL third-highest 25.2PPG to go with 8.3RPG, 2006-born Robinson was a constant highlight for the North West side.

The 5’11” wing picked up more than one Player of the Week nod throughout the campaign and was a strong choice by North conference coaches for this award as well.

Coach of the Year

Mystics’ play caller Rob Fairley joins Robinson in collecting honours for 2022/23 as he’s named North Conference Coach of the Year.

Fairley got the best out of a young squad in the North West, with contributors Robinson, Alejanda Escriva-Gay, Daisy Bryan and more all making strides in their development this year.

Second place in the North and a 6-3 record was also an improvement for a Mystics programme that haven’t made the playoffs since 2019/20.

All Conference 1st Team

MVP Robinson is joined by Manchester team-mate Alejandra Escriva-Gay, who averaged an impressive 4.4APG as part of the Mystics’ solid season.

All Conference 2nd Team

Mystics Jo Vourliotis (8.1PPG, 7.0RPG).

Defensive Player of the Year

So much defensive work goes unnoticed on the stat sheet but the output of these two players certainly didn’t escape the attention of coaches across the league.

Manchester’s Daisy Bryan was a pain for opponents across 2022/23, with a league-third best 7.9 defensive rebounds per game. Adding in 1.0SPG and 1.1BPG, it’s clear to see why the 5’10” guard was singled out.

U17 Player of the Year

Awarded to the best Year 12 players from across the league, Manchester’s Isobel Robinson. Robinson’s selection was no surprise given her MVP award.

Words and Image Credits: WEABL

Manchester Mystics

Mystics’ Nayar pens article on lack of representation of South Asian Women in Sport

Manchester Mystics’ Academy, U18 and WNBL D2 player Esha Nayar has written an article for FocusHoops on the lack of representation of South Asian Women in Sport.

Women in sport is a highly topical conversation. Over the past couple of years, the number of women in sports has increased significantly in comparison to previous years. In the past, the main sports in which women’s participation has been discussed is in the more typically feminine sports such as gymnastics or dance, whereas in the past 5 years, sports which are seen as more masculine, such as football or rugby, have seen an increase in popularity with females.

South Asian Women in Sports, is the Lack of Representation Inevitable? – Esha Nayar

Continue reading Nayar’s article here

Manchester Magic and Mystics News

Magic Academy seeks host family

The Manchester Magic Academy is seeking a host family to provide accommodation for a 16-year-old male player from late August 2022.

This is a wonderful opportunity to provide a home away from home for a talented individual looking to fulfil their sporting and academic dreams.

The host family needs to be located within a 3-mile radius of Loreto Sixth Form College in Manchester (M15 5PB) and close to good public transport links.

Host families must be able to offer the player good accommodation with a separate bedroom, plus breakfast and evening meal, as well as access to laundry facilities and the internet. The Manchester Magic is one of the biggest and most successful junior basketball programmes in the country, attracting players from across the UK.

If you think you would like to work with us to play a key role in the development of this young player, then we would love to hear from you.

To arrange an informal discussion, the application process and rates of payment, please contact CEO Phil Gordos and Welfare Lead Morag Gilronan at

Greater Manchester Community Basketball and Sports Association Ltd is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all students and vulnerable adults.

Appointment to this role is subject to a satisfactory DBS check and references.

Manchester Magic and Mystics team up with The Manchester College

Magic and Mystics join forces with The Manchester College

Manchester Magic and Manchester Mystics have teamed up with The Manchester College to form a ground-breaking new basketball partnership in the city. 

The initiative, which joins one of the biggest and most successful junior basketball programmes in the country with one of the biggest sixth form colleges, will benefit student-athletes looking to take their basketball to the next level.

It will also generate countless opportunities for pupils interested in coaching, refereeing, sports media, sports marketing and sports merchandise.

“We’re so excited about the potential of this partnership and what it could mean for Manchester,”  said Magic and Mystics chief executive Phil Gordos.

“This is not just about unearthing the next generation of basketball players, we’re also looking to build a programme that will develop coaches, referees and table officials. 

“It’s a great fit. We’re both ambitious and we both want to provide opportunities for young people in the city.”

The two parties will work together to provide an education and basketball programme that will give students the chance to excel in the classroom and on the court.

The Manchester College already runs a basketball programme and is one of the largest further education colleges in the country.

“This is a great opportunity for us as a college to extend our basketball offer,” said Hayley Francis, TMC’s Head of Department Sport, Public Service and Criminology.

“The Manchester Magic and Mystics are a great organisation and a pillar within the community which not only increases our reach but gives present and future students the opportunity to study and play basketball at a level that suits, from participation to elite.

“I believe this is the start of something great, as both organisations have the same vision and drive.”

TMC is also close to completing the construction of a new state-of-the-art teaching facility in Openshaw that will include a two-court basketball hall, an S&C gym, a sports analysis suite and a sports science laboratory.

“This is a fabulous opportunity to partner with the Manchester Magic and Mystics, and the timing could not be better,” said TMC’s Head Basketball Coach and Sport Tutor Ambokile Bell.

“We have always had a basketball offer here at the college for enrichment participation.

“However, with this partnership, we can now extend it to suit the needs of our students that aspire to play at a high level during their time here at The Manchester College. 

“With a range of courses from entry level to degree level, we can now officially announce a basketball programme with one of the most successful community and junior basketball programmes in the country.”

The Magic and Mystics have a proven track record of developing talent, winning more than 50 national junior titles since 2000.

They have also developed dozens of internationals and helped many players earn lucrative scholarships to play and study in the USA.

The club also runs an elite academy for boys and girls that plays in the EABL and WEABL.

“There is so much talent here in the city and across Greater Manchester that it makes perfect sense to work with The Manchester College,” added Gordos.

“With our expertise and knowledge, we believe we can enhance the great work the college already does and we can help each other to thrive.”

Junior Welfare Ambassador

Club appoints first ever junior welfare ambassador

Manchester Magic and Mystics have appointed their first junior welfare ambassador.

Darcey Gordon, a talented guard with the Mystics Academy, has agreed to take on the new role, which will enhance the work of the club’s welfare team.

Darcey joined the club as a 14-year-old and has also represented the North West regional team.

Now 18, she will begin life as a university student in the city in September but will remain a key member of the junior programme.

Darcey will work alongside Morag Gilronan, who leads the club’s welfare team.

“Darcey’s understanding of young people issues, her approachability and her commitment in supporting the club and individuals in areas of welfare, as well as her understanding of competing in elite leagues, will be of great benefit to the programme,” said Morag.

Darcey added: “I am delighted and honoured to be the first Junior Welfare Ambassador for Manchester Magic & Mystics.

“I hope that my experience will serve as a voice for young people associated with the club and I hope to continue helping team members with their welfare and development.

“I will approach this role with the same level of enthusiasm and enjoyment that I get playing with Mystics. I can’t wait to start!”

Magic and Mystics MMU

Magic and Mystics Juniors to get nutrition advice

Manchester Magic and Manchester Mystics are launching a sports nutrition programme for their Junior National Basketball League teams.

The club has teamed up with Manchester Metropolitan University to run the project, which will enhance its offer to boys and girls in its Under-12. Under-14, Under-16 and Under-18 age groups.

“Eating the right food and drinking the right fluids is hugely important to a player’s development,” said club chief executive Phil Gordos.

“We’ve already established a fantastic working relationship with MMU, who help run our strength and conditioning programme for our Academy teams.

“This new programme only strengthens our links with the university, who have a wealth of expertise in a number of key areas and are very keen to work with us.”

More than 180 players and coaches will benefit from the sports nutrition programme, which will begin later in January with a virtual presentation to coaches.

“It’s a brilliant opportunity for students and myself to be working with Manchester Magic and Manchester Mystics, allowing us to bring our expertise in sports nutrition to the players,” said Dr James Cameron, MMU’s Senior Lecturer in Sport Nutrition.

“Our aim is to help players give themselves the best chance in training and competition and also to help those around the players gain a further understanding of the nutritional requirements of the athlete.”

Magic and Mystics run one of the leading junior basketball programmes in the United Kingdom.

They have won more than 50 national titles since 2000 and have developed dozens of internationals in that time.

The club also runs a thriving Academy programme, playing in the EABL and WEABL.

Ex-Magic junior Ani ready for Bayern Challenge

Ex-Magic junior Ani ready for Bayern challenge

Jason Ani was heading to the United States after securing a move to top prep outfit Hillcrest in Arizona after ending his junior career with Manchester Magic.

But visa issues amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic meant the former Loreto Sixth Form College and St Peter’s RC High School student chose Europe instead.

And after a successful workout with Bayern, the 6ft 4in guard, a key member of Magic’s EABL and Senior Men programmes, will spend this season playing Pro B and U19 basketball for the club.

How did the move to Bayern come about?

JA: “Playing in Germany, my home country, had always been at the back of my mind, but I never really took it seriously until late September, when I wasn’t being granted a visa to fly to the United States. I had a team-mate I played AAU with in the States who had played in Germany. One day, I just texted him and asked if he could reach out to some teams for me. He gave my highlights to his coach who knew a few coaches in Germany. Around two days later, I got a phone call in the morning from Bayern, asking me to trial and that they were interested.”

What are your first impressions of the club?

JA: “When I first got to Bayern, my mind was blown. Their facilities are, in my opinion, NBA-level. They had everything. Even the younger players are treated like professionals. They really take it seriously and that’s what helped make my mind up. I felt like Bayern could get me to the level I need to be at to reach my full potential.”

How tough was it to turn down Hillcrest?

JA: “It was very tough. I’m not great at having tough conversations with people. It stressed me out at first because I really wanted to go there and it was already all over social media that I was going to the US. After thinking it through, the best option was definitely Bayern.”

What are your goals with Bayern?

JA: “After this year, I am going to evaluate my options. I love it here but, really and truly, my first goal is to play Division 1 basketball in the States. If I get the opportunity to play at a programme that’s big enough to be on the level of Bayern, then I may consider it. If not, then I will turn pro and hopefully continue playing at Bayern.”

Which Magic players are you still in contact with?

JA: “I talk to a few guys from my team, especially the ones who are in the States, like Saul (May) and Luke (Gordos). I always want to know how things are going. I also keep in touch with the younger players in the current Magic U18 squad as they’ve known me from a young age. They ask me for advice a lot and I’m always there to help out because I relied on older players, like Kaiyem (Cleary) and Mike (Anumba). They taught me things and helped out a lot.”

Good luck at Bayern, Jason. We’ll be following your progress.

Magic and Mystics Academy New Kit

Academy and U18 teams get new kit and sponsors

The Manchester Magic and Manchester Mystics EABL, WEABL and National League U18 teams will be the proud wearers of new match kit in the coming weeks.

The club has teamed up with Alpha Performance to provide players with superbly-designed and lightweight sublimated tops and shorts for games.

The boys’ kit will be sponsored by Homeclean, the largest cleaning company in the UK, while

Fostering Changes Life, a small independent organisation which recruits foster carers, will sponsor the girls’ kit.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to Homeclean and Fostering Changes Life for their backing,” said club chief executive Phil Gordos.

“I think the kit looks amazing and I’ve had some great feedback from the players. I’m sure they are looking forward to wearing it.”

You can find out more about Homeclean and Fostering Changes Life by visiting their websites or following them on social media.

Information about our sponsors:


“We provide you with a trustworthy, experienced and reliable cleaner within just two hours of making your booking. When you book a cleaner with us, you know you can relax and look forward to a beautiful home or office.”


Twitter: @Homeclean_UK

Facebook: @HomecleanManchester

Fostering Changes Life

“Fostering Changes Life is a small independent organisation which recruits foster carers. It doesn’t matter if you own your home or rent it as long as you have one spare bedroom!”


Facebook: @fosteringchangeslife

Mystics Mbam ready to lead Mystics' Academy's WBBL influx

Young star Mbam ready to lead Mystics’ Academy’s WBBL Influx

Manchester Mystics look set to have another highly competitive season and behind their big-hitters and leading names on the roster, head coach Jeff Jones has highlighted the progress being made by those pushing for more minutes.

These include the likes of teenager and Great Britain rising star, Jade Mbam, who the play-caller is excited to be able to work with again in 2019-20.

“It’s great to have Jade with us again for another year. She has come a long way and continues to strive to be the best she can be.

“After a good individual performance at Euros this summer, Jade has shown she is ready to compete. Her defensive intensity and athleticism will be good for us this season.

“I’m looking forward to continue helping her develop but also showcase what she can do at the highest level in this country.”

He continued: “This year we will also be hoping to work closely with our academy players and having them train and join the roster of our WBBL team.

“We are really committed to developing our younger players and hopefully this season if they work hard we can reward them.”

Meanwhile as for Mbam, she is excited to continue her basketball education with Manchester and commented: “I’m looking forward to playing my second season of the WBBL, gaining more experience and learning more from the senior players on the team.”

Source: WBBL