CHESTER Jets' new American recruits landed safely on Wednesday in time for this weekend's pre-season tournament in Birmingham.
New Yorkers John McCord and John Thomas flew out of Newark on schedule and Calvin Davis arrived from Chicago to begin their careers with the Jets.
Chester's management were worried they would be delayed in the wake of the terrorist attack. "It is a relief to get them here and they are all fine," said head coach Robbie Peers.
But still to complete the Jets' bench is skipper Pero Cameron, who is expected next Wednesday after playing for New Zealand in an international match.
Jets are in action tonight in their first tournament game against Birmingham Bullets (8pm) at the Birmingham Basketball Centre and tomorrow they take on Brighton Bears (6pm). Newcastle Eagles are also taking part.
Last season was Chester's most successful ever. Nevertheless, Peers prefers not to talk about that and sets his team simple goals for the season ahead.
"I want to make the play-offs, which would be the third straight year for the Chester Jets that's my goal," he said. "We finished second in the north last year, but there are entirely new teams this year, so it's a whole new ball game. I'm nervous, but I don't lie awake at night. I'm looking forward to it."
The anticipation of the new season is heightened because of the impressive team he has recruited a mixture of BBL experience and newcomers.
"We've got James Hamilton, Pero Cameron and Dave Gardner, who have been with me for three years and are the backbone of the team," added Peers.
"You know what you are getting with them. John McCord is proven also, and he can perform at the level we are trying to get to. We are very pleased to have John I imagine that every team would want him.
"As for the new players, you never know, it is a gamble. However, Calvin has played overseas before, which is comforting. He played in Iceland last year and he was MVP in the league.
"As for John Thomas, he has never played overseas. He was in the IBA last season, so it's a bigger adjustment for him to make. Only time will tell."
* Tournament prices this weekend are £5 children, £8 adults and £20 family for a one-day ticket, while a two-day ticket will cost £7.50, £12 and £30.
Contact the Bullets office on 0121 246 6022 for more information.