New Mike Pero Nelson Giants coach Alan McAughtry is keen to see Finn Delany's progression continue while unearthing the next generation of Nelson basketball stars at the same time. Photo: Barry Whitnall/Shuttersport.

New Giants coach has an eye on talent


New Mike Pero Nelson Giants coach Alan McAughtry could barely believe a man he was receiving a call from club legend Phill Jones.
“I couldn’t believe I was actually talking about the role with Phill Jones,” Alan says.
“I’m thinking, here I am talking to a guy who has caused us [Australians] so much grief on the court over the years.”
The pair look set to help each other as Alan acclimatises to his role as head coach for the Giants in 2017.
The 54-year-old, who is based in Melbourne, will arrive in Nelson on February 22 to get accustomed to an organisation he has had a lot of respect for from afar and a playing roster he’s had little-to-no part in putting together.
Alan was so keen on the Giants coaching gig, the successful application came at his third attempt.
Alan says not having much of a say in the roster is not a problem, he trusts people like Phill and assistant coach Brendon Bailey to have a squad good enough to get the team back in title contention.
“There has to be a level of trust there,” Alan says. “I’m a worker and I’m excited to be in a country I’ve not been in, coaching a franchise with a great history and tradition, in a community that takes pride in their team.”
Alan has considerable experience both at age-group and senior level in Melbourne and says he tends to like the defensive side of the game.
“Defence has generally been my role within teams but it’s going to be a case of finding a style that suits the guys on the roster.”
He says he’s keen to work with the New Zealand Breakers to try to ensure Finn Delany’s progression continues.
“I want to identify young talent coming through in Nelson – I want to spot the next Finn Delany.”
Alan says he wants a team which respects the team and town they represent, plays a high skill-level, hungry style of basketball capable of winning championships.
The Giants start their season away to the Southland Sharks on March 16.