TEN years ago the Cheshire Jets were standing on the brink of an incredible clean sweep of all four BBL Championship trophies.
Led by the triumvirate of head coach Robbie Peers, assistant Paul Smith and the Jets’ legendary founder Mike Burton, they took the league by storm in a season known as the ‘Jetwash’ as they claimed the league title, play-off title, BBL Trophy and BBL Cup.
A decade later, there has been more silverware and the club has been saved from extinction by the fans, but what of those who masterminded the Jetwash campaign?
As part of a special Jetstream video series on The Chronicle website, Peers and Smith have spoken about their memories of the Jets’ greatest ever season.
James Hamilton and Pero Cameron were already in the squad and Peers added John McCord, Calvin Davis and John Thomas, with Dave Gardner as sixth man and a host of talented local players to bring out their best in training.
“We weren’t sure if the chemistry would be right,” said Peers. “But you need both hard work and luck to achieve what we achieved.”
But the mix worked as the Jets finished top of the BBL Championship, beat Sheffield Sharks in the play-off final at Wembley Arena and also saw off Milton Keynes in the BBL Trophy and Birmingham Bullets in the BBL Cup finals.
But Smith explained how there were some initial doubts in pre-season over whether the squad was right.
“We actually had a pre-season tournament in Birmingham where we didn’t do too well,” he said. “Robbie was seriously considering making some changes and Mike Burton was quite vociferous in saying just leave it be and see how it goes. Fortunately that’s what he did.”
As the season went on the side got better and better, with the starting five averaging no less than 33 minutes each per game, an astonishing feat.
But Peers revealed that in 10 years, he had never looked back at the Jetwash.
“I’ve never really thought about it,” he said. “I’ve never really enjoyed it, I’ve not got any tapes of the games.
“I think the older I get, I need to start enjoying it.”