Playing the ‘GB way’ gives Simpson confidence in successful China trip
As Great Britain sit within touching distance of a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, now is the time for coach Buceta’s side to embrace what got them this far.
For guard Eilidh Simpson, that means sticking to what they know.
“To pull off another success, we just need to play the GB way. That’s our strength,” said the 27-year-old.
“We have such a great togetherness and we really do believe in each other. We love playing together and fighting for each, it really shows when we play.
“If we use our passion and belief, we can achieve more success.”
GB will need every bit of togetherness and spirit that they can muster, particularly considering their tough draw for the Olympic qualifiers. Games against China, Korea and eventual EuroBasket 2019 winners Spain await, with the top three sides from the four-team pool booking a place in Tokyo.
“It’s going to be tough to travel to China, but we know we’ll prepare correctly and be ready for that first game against the hosts.
“We have a tough draw but at this stage with the top 16 teams in the world, no draw is easy. We will take it one game at a time and give it our best crack.”
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Simpson also insists there are no secrets to the team’s success in the last few years. Following a healthy dose of belief, empowerment and enjoyment thanks to the approach of head coach Jose Maria Buceta, plenty of GB players have been reaping the benefits, Simpson included.
“We have so many leaders in our group,” she added. “They all have so much experience and they have played together for a long time.
“The spirit in our group starts with our head coach Chema, he has really instilled such a positive environment for us to succeed in. The leaders set the example every day and they love coming into camp and playing for GB, it’s really inspiring.”
“Everyone loves playing for GB, and loves playing for each other. We have so much fun together.”