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Love set to run with seven-man bench

Love set to run with seven-man bench

Plymouth coach Gavin Love is likely to enter the new season with a shorter roster, to reduce their budget.

Plymouth coach Gavin Love is likely to enter the new season with a shorter roster, to reduce their budget.

The Raiders were believed to boast one of the biggest budgets in the BBL last season, and they fell just short of a trophy double, appearing in both BBL Cup and BBL Trophy finals, losing to Newcastle on both occasions.

Love managed that with a bench of nine players, but is now expecting that to be reduced to seven for the new campaign, which begins on September 21st.

He told the Plymouth Herald: “Our budget will be smaller this season because we’re going to have less players.

“It’s not because we can’t afford it, we’re just being sensible and making sure we have a competitive team next year as well. The board and the chairman and myself have all spoken about it. We’re just being smart.

“We want to be competitive every year – not just one year.”

Mersey Tigers, who won a treble in 2010/11, slumped to a 10th place finish in the BBL last season, after suffering significant financial issues following their period of success.

Love already has Drew Lasker, Anthony Rowe and Colin O’Reilly signed up for next campaign, but is keen to avoid a repeat of last season, where a few players became unhappy at their lack of game-time.

Running with seven professionals on the bench shouldn’t harm the Raiders too much – quadruple winners Newcastle were seven-deep throughout 2011/12.

One man who seems unlikely to be part of the seven is Paul Williams, who has fielded lucrative offers from Japan and Turkey.

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