BRADFORD Dragons restart their season, following the festive break, with a home double-header this weekend.

They take on Manchester Magic in the National Basketball League Division One tonight (6:15pm) before making their first-ever appearance in the National Trophy quarter-finals, against Kent Crusaders, on Sunday afternoon at the Bradford College Sports Hall, Trinity Road (4:15).

Manchester, under the guidance of coach Paul Middleton, have established themselves as one of the top teams in the league this season, having already qualified for both the National Cup final and Sunday’s National Trophy quarter-finals – a competition in which they executed a 29-point victory over the Dragons in this season’s opening fixture.

They currently sit in fourth position in the league, six places and six points above Bradford who, despite making the quarter-finals in both cup and trophy competitions, have experienced a stuttering start to their league campaign.

However, having won two of their last three league fixtures, a rejuvenated Bradford side are now starting to climb the table and are looking to claim their place in the end-of-season play-offs.

Dragons’ head coach, Chris Mellor said: “Manchester gave us a 30-point spanking at the start of the trophy competition and have quickly established themselves as one of the better teams this season. They are always tough defensively and play team-ball offensively. There are some big match-ups, which I feel will be a key factor in deciding the outcome of the game.”

Kent Crusaders have only lost once this season and will provide another stern test for the Dragons.

Hungarian Tamas Szlavik has unfortunately had to return to his home country, due to off-court, personal issues, leaving the Dragons with a squad of 12 players for the remainder of the campaign.

However, the Dragons are boosted by the return of skipper Vance Silcott, following international duty in Montserrat, and with recent additions JP Davis, Chris McGrew and Nathan Ashley settling in well, they now look to have a much more balanced roster, with more options in different positions.

The Dragons are also making a special offer to supporters this weekend.

They will give free entry to all under-16s for both of this weekend’s games if they accompanied by a paying adult.

Tickets for this weekend’s games can be can be purchased on the door, or in advance from