Opening night for the Brighton Bears and I cannot tell you how excited we all are to get the show back on the road at long last.

It has been a hectic summer, and for more reasons than you might imagine, but more of that at the bottom of this column. We just can't wait to get out on court and show off our new team to you fans.

Opening night? Well, make that two opening nights, one at each of our home venues.

On Saturday we take on a touring team made of up of ambitious young American players keen to catch the eye and impress any watching scouts. That one is at the Triangle and we are charging a fiver a ticket.

Then, on Sunday, it is down to the Brighton Centre for our return meeting with Worthing Thunder in the Subway South Coast Classic.

When we have got those games out of the way the new campaign will feel an awful lot closer.

I know all the talk has been about how we will line-up for the new season. It's a very different team from the one we had last season but I have put together a group of guys I like. There seems to be a good chemistry there but we are not quite done yet and I will be tweaking the line-up further.

You might just see one or two players at the weekend who I have not told anyone about yet.

We have lost three keys players from last season but we have some very able replacements and I would say we are a better basketball team now.

The American side on Saturday should provide a very good test for us. They have got good players. Pre-season has not been great for us for various reasons, and that makes Saturday's game a big one for us in our preparation.

As I understand it, the players on American team are pretty much the sort of quality you would expect from import players in the British League, maybe a bit better.

Hopefully it is a good dress rehearsal for us. We might get caught a little bit cold after our lack of preparation but remember we have got experienced guys here and they should be able to cope.

Sunday should be a good day too. All four senior Sussex teams will be in action and there will be a coaching clinic for youngsters.

It's a dress rehearsal too for our off-court staff with the league opener against ThamesValley coming up a week on Saturday at the Brighton Centre.

We beat Worthing last week but I thought they did a nice job against us. They need to add some personnel, including an American, but I understand that is in hand and they have got some very good players.

I really like David Butterworth, Steven Gayle and, of course, big Gaylon Moore. Gayle was with me as a kid back at Manchester Giants. He was my Bud Johnston back then.

Talking of youngsters, I am delighted to announce that we now have a young N. Nurse on the scene. Noah Nicholas Nurse was born on Tuesday morning, weighing in at a healthy 7lbs 6oz and both baby and mom Sherrone are doing well, as is proud dad. I just can't wait to see junior in his little Brighton Bears kit.