The DBL Sharks have confirmed the return of Sharks former Juniors and Hallam University undergraduates Marko Backovic and Eddy Brownell for the 2017/2018 season.
Coach Atiba Lyons has been pleased with the development of both players who are inaugurate members of the Sharks elite pathway from the junior programme.
In their second and third year, respectively, both players are performance athletes at Sheffield Hallam University which links the Junior Sharks via a joint national league team currently in division 3.
“The pathway has been building over the last four years and we have moved from the model of having senior players form an integral part of the University first team, to a situation whereby we are feeding players from the juniors into the programme” said Coach Lyons. “The middle development ground is division 3 which we are aiming to build into a division 1 programme, but this is where the guys get their development minutes.”
With an extensive training schedule that sees Backovic and Brownell compete across three teams, senior Sharks, SHU 1st team and Division 3, it allows the players to progress as professionals whilst developing their game.
“In the States, I may have played against a higher standard at college level, but having the opportunity to train and play with the Sharks gives me just as high or a higher level to develop against whilst at the same time understand the wider requirements to be a professional,” said Marko.
Meanwhile, Brownell who is in his final year at SHU is looking forward to another season of increasing his role at the club.
“I had a great season last year and saw increased time on the floor it doesn’t get easier it is hard work but it is a great opportunity”, said Brownell. “I am really looking forward to the Sharks season we have some great additions I think it will be a successful year!”