TAUNTON Tigers are gearing up for a new basketball season and, despite moving up a division, head coach Matt Nolan is targeting a top-four finish.

Taunton play Swindon Shock in the National Cup on Sunday, September 29, and then start their league campaign the weekend after.

A Basketball GB restructure has meant that the Tigers have been moved up to National Division 3, but Nolan is not overawed by the challenge.

“I’d like to finish in the top four, as we’ve been in the top two in the past couple of seasons,” he said.

“The squad is really good, quite a young side, with four of last season’s Under-18s coming in.

“A lot of the players have come through the Tigers system, and it’s nice to have that core to the squad.

“It’s a young team, but they’re hungry and talented.”

In Nolan, Taunton have a man who has been involved in the club for 26 years, since he was 15 years old.

He said: “I played and was captain when the club was at its height in Division 1.

“I’ve coached the different youth groups, the Under-16s and women’s team – and now the men’s.”

Nolan has two co-captains this season - Alex Potter and Mark Schroeder - who are both local to the area, studied at Richard Huish College and progressed through the Tigers system.

Huish remains the Tigers’ home venue, and with good attendances coming to their fixtures, Nolan’s playing philosophy is to put on a show.

“I like to entertain, as we get crowds of 100-150 at our home games,” he said.

“We’re fast, intense, upbeat and there’s lots of shooting.”

Of course there is more to the club than just the men’s team, with a host of youth teams offering opportunities for boys and girls to play.

Nolan added: “As a county [Somerset] and a town [Taunton], I think we punch way above our weight, beating teams from Bristol, Plymouth and London.

“The programme here is one of the best in the South West, with the facilities and funding that we have, and a good core club which develops players.”

For more details on the club, head to facebook.com/tauntontigersbasketball.