Brothers reunited as Stu Thomson extends his Newcastle Eagles stay

Forwards Andy and Stuart Thomson will play together in the British Basketball League for the first time this season

Andrew Thomson in action for the Eagles. His brother Stuart has just signed for the club
Andrew Thomson in action for the Eagles. His brother Stuart has just signed for the club

Brothers Andy and Stuart Thomson will link up for the first time in the British Basketball League this season.

The announcement that 26-year-old forward Stuart is to extend his stay at the club, along with teenager Eddie Matthew, completes the Eagles roster for 2014-15.

And with Andy having rejoined the club earlier this summer, it sets up a family reunion.

The Thomson brothers have both had spells at Manchester Phoenix, and with the Eagles. But this is the first time in their professional careers they have been team-mates.

Power forward Andy’s first season on Tyneside was in 2011-12, but has spent the last two seasons with La Rochelle in France.

It is through the connections built up during that time that Stuart and the Eagles got to know one another. Having already been impressed by what they saw of the 6ft 6in forward on the other side of the court, player-coach Fabulous Flournoy made his move this time last year.

Thomson rewarded him with averages of 10.2 minutes, 4.3 points and 2.1 games.

Like teenager Matthew, he did most of his work last season from the bench, and can expect to do so again this term as Flournoy looks to develop them for a more senior role once he and fellow veteran Charles Smith move aside.

“Eddie and Stu bring so many positives to our squad,” said the New Yorker. “Both have been here before, both know our system and both can give us valuable minutes from the bench. They are both what I would call ‘projects’ and its good to have them back to work alongside the more senior and established players and for us to help them as much as they will help us.”

It is important for the club that 18-year-old guard Matthew enjoys a successful senior career as he is a product of their youth system. Despite his tender age this will be the former Eagles School of Excellence MVP’s third season at senior level. This one, however, will be the first where he is unable to double up at junior level, so he will be looking for more time on court to continue his development.

Last season he averaged only 6.6 minutes per game, returning 2.1 points in that time.

Guards Ricky Taylor and Rahmon Fletcher are set to make their Newcastle Eagles debut in the September 8 pre-season friendly against Team USA Select at Sport Central. Games against Durham Wildcats and BBL newcomers Leeds Force will follow the next day.

The American pair will be the only players wearing an Eagles vest for the first time that night.

When the squad meets up for pre-season training on Monday, it will be full of familiar faces. As well as the Thomsons, Matthew, Flournoy and Smith, Scott Martin, Drew Lasker and Darius Defoe have signed new contracts with the BBL Champions.

The Eagles start their season with a home game against play-off champions Worcester Wolves on September 26.

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