Raiders re-sign Martin to provide vital options in team's backcourt
ANTHONY MARTIN has rejoined Plymouth Raiders and goes straight into the mix for the city club's back-to-back home BBL Championship clashes this weekend.
Raiders entertain Milton Keynes Lions tomorrow night (7.30), while on Sunday league leaders Sheffield Sharks visit the Pavilions (4pm).
Point-guard Martin left Plymouth in the summer for a brief and unhappy spell at BBL rivals Worcester Wolves.
Martin is expected to figure in both fixtures and will try and help 0-2 Raiders claim their first victory in the Championship this season.
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Coach Gary Stronach called the deal a 'win-win situation and my biggest signing for many a year', while for Martin it is a welcome return to the club and the chance to perform in front of the Plymouth fans again.
Martin said he wasn't returning to upstage any of the current Raiders' roster, just to pitch in and help the second-bottom club move up the league.
Martin will be an experienced back-up for starter Eric Flato and also bolster Raiders' roster, depleted further by the loss of forward James Noel to an Achilles injury.
"It was an easy decision to make," said Martin. "It's really good to be back.
"I've come back to fit in and do whatever I can to help.
"It's not about one person coming in and trying to be a superstar."
Martin played for Worcester against Raiders on September 16 at the Pavilions in a pre-season friendly and was impressed by what he saw that day.
"They (Raiders) are a good unit and it was a good game, too," he added.
Martin had spent the previous two seasons with Raiders, and freely admitted the friendliness of both the city and the club had played a major part in his decision to re-sign for Stronach's side.
"It's like a big family down here in Plymouth and when I came back to England, I came down here to hang out," said Martin.
"It's really nice to be able to come back and, more importantly, play basketball."
Amen to that, was Stronach's reaction to Martin's return.
"Anthony is a great signing for us and will be a breath of fresh air around the club," said Stronach.
"Anthony knows my system, although there are a few different things thrown in this year.
"He will gives us a freshness and an option off the bench, because everyone knows we haven't got the biggest squad this year."
Stronach added: "Anthony decided to leave in the summer for Worcester which didn't work out and has been a free agent for a couple of weeks.
"He'd had other offers but loves the city and has been down here for almost all that time since.
"We chatted about a few things and he and we agreed for him to join us, hopefully, until the end of the season.
"But the deal is that if Anthony receives a better offer at any time – from Europe, say – then he will be free to go.
"But we'll be trying our best to keep him here, that's for sure."
Owing to the two-day postal strike, Raiders' officials are sweating on Martin's registration being cleared in time for the Lions' match.
He will, however, definitely be involved on Sunday's set-to with Sharks.
But the Leeds-born New Yorker, Stronach and the Raiders fans will be keeping their fingers crossed Martin can step out in the number 12 shirt at the Pavilions tomorrow night.