Global Spotlight Turned Back On To Teesside
Teesside Lions have confirmed the return of Great Britain Coach Marc Steutel more than a year after his signing sparked global interest in the area.
The fanfare was short lived due to the Coronavirus pandemic preventing the club from training let alone competing and in many ways the rug was pulled firmly from beneath their feet.
Club Chairman and out-going Coach James Thomson explained the huge impact the last 15 months has had on the Lions: “The decision was a big one as I essentially ‘sacked’ myself to appoint Marc.
“Initially there was such a buzz. We are an embryonic team and Marc is one of the best young Coaches in Europe.
“Why would he go there; what is happening on Teesside; what players will they sign, were the general responses, not only from our fans, but sports outlets around the UK, Europe and USA. A phenomenal interest in our club and the area was generated.
“We had one month of incredible training sessions and then nothing.”
Prior to Covid, in the club’s first season of senior National League basketball the Lions were attracting 500 fans to their events with the aim of filling the 1200 capacity Eston Sports Centre arena with the arrival of Coach Steutel.
The reality was a crippling loss of activity and income which brought the club to its knees.
During the Pandemic and resulting Lockdown, International basketball was allowed to continue and Coach Steutel led the Great Britain team to the 2022 Euro Finals with exciting and memorable victories over Macedonia, Germany and France.
Amidst the rising stock of Steutel himself and the precarious situation of the club there was a determination on both club and coach to continue the project and in many ways, it presents a refreshing perspective of sport and integrity. The great news for sports fans on Teesside and for the area is that Coach Steutel has re-signed and will lead the Teesside Lions into a new era.
Marc has signalled his excitement at the Teesside project stating “I genuinely believe we are building something special here with the Lions. The ingredients for success are here. James has worked hard to build this foundation and I am honoured he has chosen me to take the team forward.
“If I am completely honest, I didn’t envisage myself coaching in Division 3, but the project presented by James, along with his active pursuit of me was a strong factor. The ambition is to climb the league at the earliest opportunity and compete among the best in the UK, and I am looking forward to success with Teesside Lions.”
With the relaxing of social distancing and return of sporting events, the club are pleased to announce the following live events which will present the first opportunity for fans to see Coach Steutel and the new look Lions in action.
Pre Season Friendly –
Sun 19th September 2pm Tip
› BUY TICKETS
The games will take place at Eston Sport Centre with more details to follow. Tickets on sale now via TeessideLions.com with special rates to celebrate a return to live basketball.