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Mystics season preview

As the WBBL season draws closer and the Mystics roster nears completion, I caught up with returning stalwarts Jade Lucas and Nicola Welling to gauge their thoughts ahead of the new campaign.

MM: You’ve been part of the set-up here for a long time now. What is it that keeps you coming back year after year?

JL: Basketball is my passion. I’ve been playing since I was eight years old. I love to see all my friends and keep myself fit. Basketball’s always been there for me.

NW: This is the best club in the region. There’s a good youth programme behind us and I enjoy seeing the younger players come up to compete with us. It’s always good to have that.

Jade Lucas
Jade Lucas (Manchester Mystics #5) -WBBL 2015-2015 – Manchester Mystics – Nottingham Wildcats – © Ville Vuorinen- NO UNPAID USE ALLOWED –

MM: It’s early days yet, but what difference do you feel the move to Belle Vue has made for the programme?

JL: I think it’s given us a new vision, being a focus group now. We also have a different coach, with different ideas, which has given everyone an early boost and lots of confidence. We feel really valued right now.

NW: The facilities have given us a different feeling and we’ve been able to attract some good talent to the club. They’ve brought an intensity with them. That can only be good for us.

MM: What are you most looking forward to this season?

JL: We have a great range of talent that I’m looking forward to playing with. Georgia was a team-mate of mine years ago, she’s just an amazing player. Rheanne Bailey is a player I’ve respected for a long time and also my old friends Jamie Curtis and Nicki are still here. I like the dynamic we have around the group and I’m really excited.

NW: I’m looking forward to winning some games! We’ve got a great group, there’s a great atmosphere on the floor, our intensity is higher and we should be able to compete better than we have recently. It all adds up to winning!

Nicola Welling
Nicola Welling (Manchester Mystics #6) -WBBL 2015-2015 – Manchester Mystics – Nottingham Wildcats – © Ville Vuorinen- NO UNPAID USE ALLOWED –

MM: What will signify success for you in May?

JL: For me, getting to the end of the season and feeling like everyone contributed their maximum and felt valued will be a big thing, regardless of our finishing position. If we’re all on the same page working towards the same goal, we will be successful.

NW: With the players we have, we need to be aiming for the top half of the league and looking to make some noise in the play-offs.

*The Mystics are taking part in the Betty Codona Classic at Nottingham Wildcats Arena this weekend (1st & 2nd October). The long running tournament was added to the regular WBBL calendar this year.