John Lavery says he is looking forward to his new challenge with the Cheshire Phoenix after last season's head coach handed over the reins to New Yorker John Coffino this week.

Lavery will work alongside new head coach Coffino as assistant in the BBL next season as well as leading the franchise’s successful community programme.

The former England international has had two spells as head coach of the Nix, leading them to the BBL Championship play-offs on both occasions. Now, following the appointment of Bronx native Coffino as head coach, Lavery will take over the growing community effort and will work as an assistant to the American.

"I have really enjoyed coaching the Cheshire Phoenix," said Lavery.

"I am also really looking forward to working with Coach Coffino. We have already spoken and I am looking forward to coaching with him and trading ideas.

"The community programme is critical to the growth of the club as a force within Cheshire however and I am proud to be taking on the role full-time and ensuring that the Phoenix is giving something back to the community."

The community programme was revived last year by the fan-owned club and was a roaring success, with 28 Cheshire schools receiving player visits promoting healthy living, good diet and active lifestyles.

A key programme for the club, engagement with young fans and the wider Cheshire community is a cornerstone of the fan-owned philosophy of the Nix and chairman Andrew Donaldson said appointing Lavery to lead it would ensure it continued to be successful.

"John has been involved with re-establishing the community programme from the start and he understands how important it is for us to engage with our fans with positive health messages," he said.

"It is also great news for us that he has agreed to stay and assist Coach Coffino. John has demonstrated his own talent as a coach and I think that the trio of coaches we will have next season, plus the input of Robbie Peers, will give us the strongest leadership team in the BBL."