By Nick Butler

Miles Thompson has been announced as the new Head Coach for the Great Britain womens wheelchair basketball teamOctober 11 - British Wheelchair Basketball have announced the appointment of American Miles Thompson as the new head coach of the women's team in a move designed to transform them into serious medal contenders on the biggest stage over the next three years.

Although the team finished down in seventh place at London 2012 the sport has never been more popular at grassroots level and the squad are full of confidence that they will reach greater fortunes in the years ahead.

Thompson, a vastly experienced coach who has enjoyed considerable success at both international and collegiate level, takes over from Nigel Smith and Joe Jayaratne, who together led the team to a bronze medal at July's European Championships in Frankfurt.

This was their eighth bronze medal in the last nine European Championships and Thompson would seem the perfect person to wheel the team to the next level.

The ultimate target will be Rio 2016 but the more immediate ones will be the 2014 World Championships in Toronto as well as the European Championships to be held on home courts at the University of Worcester in 2015.

He is looking forward to these challenges which lie ahead.

"Coming to Great Britain and entering onto the world stage of wheelchair basketball is a logical next step for me; but more than that, I am a coach that enjoys, and believes in, the process," he said.

"Within this outstanding programme, all the necessary pieces are in place that will allow the process to successfully unfold.

"I am excited to get to work.

"We will be a strong, fast and disciplined product, willing to take on all-comers."

Great Britain's women in action against Germany earlier in 2013Thompson will hope to inspire Great Britain's women, pictured  in action against Paralympic champions Germany earlier in 2013, to  greater heights in the years ahead

As the defensive coordinator of the United States women's team Thompson played a crucial role in their run to gold at the 2010 World Championship and the semi-finals of London 2012.

In 2013 he has made the step up to head coach status, and promptly led the University of Alabama men's team to the title at the National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Championships in March.

Being a head coach at international level seems the obvious next step and British Wheelchair Basketball Performance Director Paul Davies is full of confidence that Thompson is the right man for the job.

"The recruitment of Thompson to lead the women's programme represents another significant step towards achieving our ambition of winning a Paralympic medal in Rio," he said.

"He comes to us with an extensive background in the game, a track record of success and a strong and visible desire to achieve high levels of performance.

"He is exactly the right man to lead our women's programme to the success that they are capable of achieving."

This praise was echoed by Malcolm Tarkenter, British Wheelchair Basketball chairman, who expressed his "delight to have Thompson joining our coaching team".

"We know that the future of our women's programme is extremely bright," he added.

"We have a fantastic combination of young up and coming players with those who have been playing the sport internationally for many years now, and Miles brings with him the knowledge and experience to continue to move us forwards."