DIRECTOR of basketball Paul James insists Worcester Wolves have a much stronger squad than last season and believes there are more exciting times ahead.

Although star players Zaire Taylor and Will Creekmore both left following Wolves’ double-winning campaign in the British League, captain Alex Owumi and Jamal Williams have stayed.

Five new recruits have also arrived in Chavis Holmes, Robert Thurman, Sean Park, Donatas Visockis and Remi Dibo, while Kalil Irving, Disraeli Lufadeju and Caylin Raftopoulos have re-signed.

The players started training this week and take on England League Division One side Reading Rockets in a warm-up match at the University Arena on Sunday (5pm).

Wolves then visit BBL rivals Bristol Flyers in another pre-season friendly on Thursday, September 18.

“I’m absolutely delighted with the team we’ve managed to recruit this season,” James said. “On paper, certainly, it’s a step up from what we had last year.

“I think we’re deeper than we were, we’ve got more scoring options and more quality throughout the team. Whereas last season we probably relied on three key players, I think this time it would be safe to say that we’ve got many more players that we can count on.

“Last season, if one of the big three were having an off-game we were looking around a little bit to see who was going to come up good.”

Wolves won the BBL play-offs and Trophy in a stellar 2013-14 season that also saw them finish third in the table having led the way for much of the campaign.

James added: “It’s always tough to follow a team that’s been successful.

“A lot of it is going to depend on how we gel as a team and how quickly the players adapt to the system, but I’m sure they will and I’m sure we’re going to give it another good shot.”