HEAD coach Paul James says he is looking to persuade a “nucleus of players” from last season to stay at Worcester Wolves.

Contract talks are under way at the University of Worcester Arena and James insists some offers will be made immediately to members of his squad.

After a difficult start to the season Wolves produced a scintillating run, winning 15 of their last 17 games in the British Basketball League to finish fifth.

They also reached the semi-finals of both the BBL Trophy and the end-of-season play-offs, losing 199-197 to Newcastle Eagles in the latter.

“We have started talking to the players and conversations have been going really well,” James said.

“We hope to be making some offers immediately to players and then it has got to be a two-way street.

“I know the players have enjoyed their time here this season and we have enjoyed having them.

“We are trying to bring back as many players as we possibly can but obviously there is a budget that needs to be fitted in to so it is a two-way street as both the players and the management need to work together so everybody is happy with what they have got.

“We want to put our best foot forward and have a nucleus of players back so we can start off the season on a good footing unlike this year.

“If we can do that I am pretty sure we can have a better season than we have had this year.”

Despite success on the court in recent years Wolves have suffered a raft of departures at the end of the last two seasons.

James admitted he could not force his troops to stay for another season and said he was willing to “let the dust settle”.

But he insisted there were “four or five really key players” he would be “chasing pretty hard” for their signatures.

“Sometimes players want to move on and they want a different experience or they price themselves out of the market,” James said.

“It has not been because we have not wanted to retain players.

“Of course we want to keep our best players and it hasn’t been possible in the last couple of years. But hopefully this year we will be able to do that.

“We can’t force people to stay if they don’t want to but we have a few players we certainly want to retain so we can move forward in a better light.”

James added: “For me, it (retaining players) can’t happen soon enough but obviously you have got to let the dust settle.

“Some players like to do it sooner rather than later.

“Other players want to leave it a bit longer to see what other possibilities might be out there.

“It will happen when it happens but there are four or five really key players who we will be chasing pretty hard to try to get their signature.

“Once we have those we will know what else we need to pull in.”