Rockets sign Australian Soukup as American Gill arrives in the UK

Reading Rockets have made their fifth new signing ahead of the 2017-2018 campaign by adding Australian native Declan Soukup to their squad. The 6’3 combo guard has just finished playing in his home country with Dandenong Rangers in the Australian SEABL and is due to fly to the UK later this week to meet up with his new teammates. Prior to this, the British passport holder played four years in the NCAA in Divisions One and Two for Bryant University and Assumption Greyhounds respectively before returning to his home country. He averaged 11 points and 3.3 assists per game in his final year of college and will really bolster the Rockets backcourt with his ability to play the point guard position and as an excellent shooter.

Rockets Head Coach Manuel Peña Garcés is delighted to capture the signing of Soukup and feels the Australian will have an immediate impact on his team. The Spaniard said,

We are really pleased to bring in Declan to our team and feel he is an excellent fit to the squad we already have. He has a very versatile game and is in great shape having only just finished his season back in Australia. We have felt for a while we need to bolster and strengthen the group and by adding Declan to the mix we have taken a great step in doing so.

Rockets have also been buoyed by the news that American Tim Gill has finally got his visa sorted and will join his teammates early this week. Gill had been waiting for a number of weeks to secure his paperwork for his transfer to the UK and will finally be able to join the Berkshire outfit and make an impact.

The Reading team has had a full on pre-season with games against Team USA Select, Fyllingen, and Essex Leopards and have undertaken all three match-ups with only 4 senior players. Under 19 Alex Drincic has made a good start to life in Division One and he and the rest of the team have been well supported by Under 18s Iñigo Perez Baena and Adrian Nosa Castillo with Ali Sbai sustaining an early season ankle injury and Joel Keeble unavailable for the first few weeks. Rockets Chairman Gary Johnson is looking forward to seeing all the pieces of the puzzle finally coming together over the next week or so but may also be looking to add one more player to the mix. He said,

We have had a really good pre-season in terms of training and games and the guys that are in have done well so far. There is still a lot of work to do and that will be the challenge for the coaching staff over the next couple of weeks as the squad comes together and we possibly look to add one more player to the fold. Our focus has been to have a deeper squad than last season as well as maintaining our philosophy of promoting and developing young talent. We feel we have definitely taken some positive steps in this off-season and now we are looking forward to really competing and working hard during the season.