Our Hawks won't fly away: McLeod

Coach Gordie McLeod believes next year's team will be similar to this year's. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Coach Gordie McLeod believes next year's team will be similar to this year's. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

BASKETBALL

Wollongong Hawks coach Gordie McLeod remains optimistic about the club's prospects of keeping most of last season's playing roster intact, despite another day of no free agent signings.

The Hawks are the NBL's only team yet to announce any player signings for the 2014-15 season.

American guard and 2013-14 NBL MVP Rotnei Clarke definitely won't be returning after taking up an offer to play in the Belgium national league.

But Wollongong fans shouldn't fear the worst.

The club is well down the track in negotiations with its free agents and McLeod is patiently searching for a top-notch replacement for the mercurial Clarke.

Among those expected to stay with the Hawks are captain Oscar Forman, Larry Davidson, Rhys Martin, Dave Gruber, Tim Coenraad and Tyson Demos.

Last season's rookies, Dominique Cooks and Shane Harris-Tunks, hope to get another shot at making the team, while American swingman Kevin Tiggs is still very much in the picture.

McLeod insisted announcements on player signings were imminent.

"We're certainly not sitting on our hands," the 2013-14 NBL Coach of the Year said.

"We've been talking to the guys and kept them informed of where we're at. There's a process involved and we're definitely getting closer to finalising some things.

"Obviously it's pleasing they haven't signed with other clubs so hopefully we'll be able to keep our main nucleus together."

The Hawks gained a new owner in James Spenceley last week and unveiled Greg Binskin as its new general manager on Tuesday.

Wollongong open the 2014-15 season with a home game against Townsville on October 10.

Spenceley said the Hawks would take game-night entertainment to a new level and he hopes the season-opener will sell out.

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