The West Craven Turbines were formed on the 11th April 2005 originally as an extra training session for players of West Craven High Technology College by then newly qualified coach Renko Ireton with the hope of improving basketball in the local area.
As the players of the then Year 11 began to improve both players and coach stated their desire to play competitive basketball the following season. The team the started training regularly one evening a week at the high school in Barnoldswick. The newly formed team was named The West Craven Turbines taking their name from the local industry were then entered in the Bradford District mens league for the 2005-06 season.
The club then started to build on their squad of players adding players from the local area attending training sessions, while still working closely with West Craven High to help develop more players for the future who wish to play at a higher level of basketball.
The brand new West Craven Turbines took to the floor for their first ever game on 11th October 2005 away against the Horsforth Hustlers which resulted in a 118-19 loss for the rookie team. The starting line-up on opening night included Tom Lupton, Matt Heald, Oliver Hylands, Michael Smith and Richard Bargh with Ben Capps, John Coates and Riley Handforth coming off the bench.
The Turbines earned their first ever victory on 16th October 2005 at home against the South Craven Ravens with a final score of 58-35 to the home team.
Over the course of the season the young Turbines put in a number of fine displays running both Bradford Maroons and Bradford College to within 2 shots of victory in the final seconds of both games.
The Turbines’ second win of the season came at the hands of the visiting Queensbury Hawks towards the end of the season. In what was a very close game throughout the Turbines managed to hang on in the final minute of the game to win by 1 point 47-46.
After two years playing in the Bradford and then the Leeds League Coach Ireton had seen a decline in players and finances and in 2008 was forced to take a break from competitive basketball and settled by training the team on Monday nights at West Craven High. During that time the Turbines also lost valuable players Oliver Hylands and Richard Bargh who went to play for national team Bradford Dragons.
The 2009 season would bring a new era for Turbines basketball as they were entered into the Hyndburn and District Basketball League. The Turbines were now competing with teams from around Lancashire that included teams from Burnley, Hyndburn, Morecambe, Preston, Nelson and Rossendale amongst others. The 2009-2010 season began with a very inexperienced side which led to a extremely slow start and steep learning curve which struggled to compete with the much more experienced teams from the league. However, this season brought in many new players, which would prove to be more valuable in the long run. West Craven had to take loosing as a lesson as they continued to play in the following season. The summer of 2010 would see Turbines start their first ever summer camp for players aged 5-14, which has now become an annual event. This was a very successful event which ran for a full week and over 20 campers wanting to get involved in which was a very well coached and organised camp that took place at Fisher Moore, Colne.
The camp also gave the Turbines seniors another facility to train as they got the chance to train two nights a week, one at West Craven in Barnoldswick and the other at Fisher Moore, Colne.
The 2010-11 season saw a big change in the Hyndburn League as it became more competitive with more teams entering and very few teams withdrawing. Although once again the Turbines struggled to compete in most games as they lacked in players and struggled to keep the club running with very few players showing up at practice. An average of just six players turned up the games and minimum numbers would turn up for training. At this point the club was looking like it was coming to an end as players lacked in commitment. Desperate measures called for Coach Ireton to call up a meeting between the players to help suggest ways on improving the clubs current situation. The Christmas break came as the club just managed to keep going. The New Year saw more players begin to show to practice with both seniors and youth practicing regularly. However, Turbines till struggle to compete in the Hyndburn league and by May another meeting had to take place in order to get players to motivate and commit. Finally in May 2011 Turbines would get a long waited first win beating Morecambe 47-43 in the Plate Semi-final sending them through to their first final against rivals Blackburn Phoenix. Losing the final Turbines knew that they must improve to continue into the next seasons as their previous record in the league proved to be why there was such lack in interest in committing to the club and playing regularly.
Monday: 7:00-8:00pm at Park High School, Colne
Womens (All ages)
Thursday: 6:00-7:30pm at West Craven High, Barnoldswick (Coming soon)
Ages 13-18 Girls & Boys
Saturday: 11am-12:30pm at Sandylands Sports Centre, Skipton
Ages 6-13 Girls & Boys (Beginners)
Monday: 6:00-7:00pm at Park High School, Colne