Finch salutes 'best' British team

13 July 2012 / 22:47

Great Britain coach Chris Finch believes he will send his best ever team on to the court for the Olympics this summer.

Finch's team take on Portugal in Sheffield on Saturday and Sunday in two of their final warm-up games before they head to London. As they prepare to play in front of a home crowd for the first time this summer, Finch is proud of the product that will be on display.

"This is our best team, no doubt about it," said Finch, who boasts the strongest line-up of British talent yet even despite the failure to get Ben Gordon on board.

"We've never had Joel (Freeland), Dan (Clark), Pops (Mensah-Bonsu), Rob (Archibald) and Luol (Deng) all together and available on the same roster before."

Finch, who is enjoying a return to the city where he was a player and coach with the Sheffield Sharks, also believes that the mentality of the GB programme, as a whole, has never been stronger.

"One of the biggest things that has changed is the expectation to go out and win," he said. "That's huge."

Chicago Bulls star Deng, who was part of the last GB team to play here in Sheffield when they beat Switzerland in 2007 to gain promotion to Europe's top tier, agreed with Finch that his was the best squad to date.

"We've come a long, long way," Deng said. "The Switzerland game we were still in Group B. Now we're competing with the best in the world. There's still some work to do, but we're definitely heading in the right direction."

Britain have lost all their warm-up games so far this summer, but the last two, close defeats to leading sides Spain and France, have given them cause for optimism.

"We're not worried about the results," Deng said. "Even though we lost those games we felt great about the direction we were going in. We're in a great position. Nobody expects us to do anything but us."