Jack Preston will lead Team Northumbria’s giant-killing quest this weekend determined to put Division One basketball on the map.
Marc Steutel’s men host Worcester Wolves in the BBL Trophy on Sunday looking to spring the surprise of the round.
And Preston is predicting a battle royale against parent club Newcastle Eagles’ bogey team as TN go in search of a rare top flight scalp.
“It’s definitely up there as one of the biggest games of my career,” said the forward, who returns to action after serving a one-match ban for his part in last month’s infamous ‘Manchester Melee’.
“There have been more important matches but none with such a high profile - any time you play one of the best teams in the BBL it’s going to be big news.”
Preston and guard Lewis Champion both return to a full strength TN roster with the former rleishing this weekend’s role reversal.
“We’re used to being the favourite every week we play,” added Preston. “As the reigning Division One champions we’re there to be shot at in our league. But we go into this game as the underdogs and we’ll go into it with a bit of a chip on our shoulders.
“We want to prove that we belong in this kind of company and that we won the First Division on merit. It gives the game a bit of extra bite as far as I’m concerned.
“We don’t fear anyone and this is a perfect opportunity to show the rest of the country what we can do.”
Worcester have become past masters at posing Newcastle plenty of problems during the past five years with wily coach Paul James frequently getting his tactics spot on against best mate Fabulous Flournoy.
And Preston conceded that the Wolves will be a tough nut to crack this weekend.
“Of course it will be an extremely difficult game for us,” he added. “Worcester have a reputation for making things tough for Newcastle - they’ve become a bit of a bogey team for the Eagles - and they’re a class act that’s used to playing at Sport Central.
“They are a high calibre outfit with a number of weapons but we’re determined to give a good account of ourselves.
“As far as I know we’re at full strength - we’ve got a couple of guys with little niggles but that’s no big surprise at this stage of the season.
“We’re up for the challenge and we can’t wait.”
Tip-off at Sport Central is 6.30pm. Entry is free.