CHARLES Smith is hoping he can finally get his season underway tonight after a nightmare start to his latest stint with the Eagles.
Smith will travel to his former club Scottish Rocks hoping he can produce the match-winning performance that the Eagles supporters have been eagerly waiting for since he arrived. After a poor debut performance against Guildford which had the straight-talking forward issuing an apology, the fans’ favourite was desperate to make amends against London in the last Eagles game.
However, a back problem meant he could only manage a couple of minutes of action, and instead of being able to showcase some of his trademark offensive power and flamboyance, he was left kicking his heels in frustration on the bench.
I guess I am going to Scotland looking to start my season properly as it hasn’t been the best of starts for me. I really want to get back on the right note, personally and for the team, explained Smith.
The back is feeling good and I have been training with the guys since last Friday, so I don’t expect to be anything other than ready to play a full part. I know I haven’t quite been right since I came back and it’s time to put things right. We have four games in a week coming up so I guess that is plenty of opportunity to really get things moving in the right direction.
The intense rivalry that exists between the Eagles and the Rocks – one of the biggest in British basketball – was taken to new levels after Smith’s well-documented walk-out on the Glasgow franchise two seasons ago.
However, Smith, who has only been back to Braehead once since the furore surrounding his departure, firmly believes that it is something that is now consigned to history. I haven’t really thought about it at all because I have moved on from what happened a few years ago,” he said, “and I am sure most, if not all, of the Rocks fans have too. I am sure they will be supporting their team rather than focusing on me. It’s an exciting game and we will need to get back to our strong defensive principles if we want to win. We are expecting the Rocks to come at us and I think it will be tough, but the recent break has allowed us to really iron out some things in our practices and come together as a team.”