THE Essex Leopards will no longer be playing their home matches at the Basildon Sporting Village.

Leopards have split their matches between Basildon and Brentwood during the past couple of seasons.

But Leopards managing director Gareth Roberts has now confirmed Basildon will not be hosting any more matches during the remainder of the current campaign.

“The crowds in Brentwood have been up on last season and additional dates have become available there which we’ve decided to take,” said Roberts.

“We’ve enjoyed playing games in Basildon and it’s been a good venue for us, but we won’t be playing there again this season.

“I’d like to thank all the fans who came to watch us play while we were there and I hope they continue to come and support us in the matches we have coming up at other venues.”

Leopards started to play matches at the Sporting Village towards the end of the previous campaign when they went on to win a trio of trophies.

They headed back to the sports centre in Cranes Farm Road six times this term, but attendances at the venue started to drop and the Echo understands this was also a concern to the club.

However, Leopards are keen to spread their games around the county to get more fans involved.

And Roberts also revealed the Big Cats’ game at the Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre, against the Bristol Academy Flyers, this Sunday might not just be a one-off if a good crowd is in attendance.

“We are looking forward to Sunday and hope that there is a decent crowd because it would be great to play more games there going forward,” said Roberts.

“Southend is another excellent venue and it will be good to play there this weekend.

“So far no decisions have been made as to where matches will be played next season and we will weigh up our options and decide on what’s best for the club.”

Leopards, who will be playing in the British Basketball League next term, have already made it through to this season’s National Cup final, which will take place later this month.

They are currently sixth in the English Basketball League’s Division One table and will be hoping to climb further up the standings by beating Bristol, the team just above them in the table, in Southend on Sunday.

The match tips off at 4pm at the centre in Eastern Avenue.