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Page last updated at 13:21 GMT, Wednesday, 22 September 2010 14:21 UK

Maudsley ready to follow Wiggins lead at Trailblazers

Jamie Maudsley
Maudsley was named new Derby coach in the summer

New Derby Trailblazers head coach Jamie Maudsley says following last season's championship-winning coach Clarence Wiggins will be incredibly difficult.

Wiggins, who has taken up a role coaching the club's youngest players, guided Derby to the EBL Division One title last term.

Maudsley, who steps up from assistant coach, told BBC Radio Derby: "It's a massive challenge.

"We've got a lot to live up to in terms of last season's success."

In addition to losing the Wiggins' coaching expertise, Derby will also need to fill the void left by the retirement of player of the season Dave Attewell, who takes over as coach of the club's new under-15 team.

Chris really fits into what we're trying to do here. He's a great guy and has a good basketball IQ

Jamie Maudsley on Chris Page

Maudsley has therefore brought in American forward Chris Page, who spent last season with Taunton Tigers, where he averaged 20.23 points and 10.23 rebounds per game.

"Chris was one of the standout import players in the league last season," Maudsley said:

"He's a solid defensive player and he's got a good inside/outside game on offence and he's a good coach, which is important because he'll be working in our schools development programme.

"He wanted to be at a competitive club and he was keen to come up and trial with us. I think he really fits into what we're trying to do here. He's a great guy, he has a good basketball IQ and I think he'll be a match-up problem for a lot of defenders in our league, so we're delighted with his acquisition."

The Trailblazers have also brought in forwards Dave Eddon and Josh Rolls-Tyson from midlands rivals Coventry Crusaders and Birmingham Athletics respectively. Youngster Rema Lascelles, son of Derby legend Tim will also be involved with the first-team squad.

Mark Woodhouse is also set to return, following almost a year out with a knee injury. The forward is currently undergoing rehabilitation after surgery and hopes to be back in action by December at the latest.

Karl Brown's teams are always well coached. They'll be well drilled and they're going to be aggressive

Jamie Maudsley on Leicester Warriors

Trailblazers begin their season with a pair of Trophy matches against old adversaries Leicester Warriors and Maudsley knows the nature of the rivalry between the two clubs means it is certain to be a tough encounter.

"They blew us out in a cup game five or six years ago, but ever since that, no game has been decided by more than about 11 points," Maudsley said.

"Karl Brown's teams are always well coached. They'll be well drilled and they're going to be aggressive. They've got guys that can shoot the ball well and they've got guys that like to penetrate to the basket too, so they'll be tough."

The opening game of the season tips off at Braunstone Leisure Centre in Leicester on Saturday, 25 September, with the return match at Derby's Moorways Sports Centre on Saturday 2 October.

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