Marc Steutel’s mission is to prime Great Britain’s senior men for long-term success — whatever the future holds.
National team bosses are expected to announce a new direction for the country’s coaching set-up once the current international window closes.
And with GB head coach Nate Reinking committed to Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA, it seems increasingly likely that any change in emphasis will involve a new man at the helm.
As acting head coach for this month’s World Cup qualifiers, Steutel’s name remains in the mix to replace Reinking full-time.
But ahead of tonight’s clash against Belgium at the Vertu Motors Arena, the Newcastle Eagles play-caller said: “My only focus is the next two games.
“Once again, it’s an absolute privilege to represent my country and that will always be the case.
“And I have always had one thing in mind — to ensure that I leave the GB programme in a better place than when I started my journey with the senior squad.
“Is it hard trying to balance two jobs and keep various plates spinning? Of course, it is.
“But I’m extremely proud to be coaching my country. Every time I step out as a GB coach it’s an honour and a privilege.”
Steutel is in the midst of a tough season with Newcastle as the Eagles cling on to their dream of making the end-of-season playoffs.
And his GB commitments mean there’s no chance to rest and reset ahead of the relentless regular season run-in.
But Steutel added: “I’m not the kind of person who would switch off anyway and I don’t think that would be possible given the situation we [Newcastle] find ourselves in.
“It’s not a position that I’m proud of and I want to do everything in my power to fix it.
“For the time I’m on court with the GB guys preparing for Belgium and Serbia I’m very much present as national team coach.
“I know the club understands the value of me being in this position and they have supported me from day one when it comes to GB.
“But they also know I’m working tirelessly to turn the Eagles’ season around.”
Steutel’s trademark passion transcends club and country and that quality is what persuaded both Newcastle owner Paul Blake and GB’s bosses to place so much faith in the ambitious play-caller.
This weekend will be all about seeking to repeat famous homecourt wins against Germany and Greece in front of a boisterous Tyneside crowd.
And Steutel can’t wait to unleash GB’s young guns onto the World Cup scene after introducing a number of uncapped stars to the senior group.
“Our fixtures against Belgium tonight and Serbia on Monday represent the perfect opportunity to run the rule over some of the best emerging British talent,” he added.
“Of course, we want to be competitive at this level and the aim is to win both basketball games.
“But at the same time, there needs to be room for player development — there will always be evolution when it comes to international basketball and this is one of those periods.
“We’ve done our homework on Belgium but I want the players to be fully confident of their roles and to understand how we expect them to approach the game.
“Tuesday and Wednesday were about getting those ideas across and practising with intensity.
“I’ve been in this position before and I know how to make the most of a limited time with my players.
“What’s different this week is that there’s not the same level of continuity and consistency that’s been the hallmark of GB’s senior team for several years.
“As I said, it’s about building for the future. That means bringing new faces into the fold and, to an extent, sacrificing some of that continuity.
“The new players bring a positive energy to the group but it’s a challenge to bring them up to speed.”
Tonight’s FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Qualifier tips-off at 7:30pm.