Chasing a third signing

Newcastle Eagles were chasing a third British signing last night in veteran forward Chris Haslam after handing contracts to triallists Tom Sherlock and Brian McCotter.

Newcastle Eagles were chasing a third British signing last night in veteran forward Chris Haslam after handing contracts to triallists Tom Sherlock and Brian McCotter.

Any move for Haslam is very much in the balance, though, as a similar deal for the Great Britain player collapsed last season and other BBL clubs are chasing the star, with Leicester strong favourites.

Relative unknowns Sherlock and McCotter suddenly find themselves catapulted from hopeful triallists into an Eagles squad charged with defending four BBL trophies.

Eagles play-caller Fab Flournoy said: "They both stood out for me and I am pleased that we can give them an opportunity to improve as players and be part of our squad. Tom has played at college in the States and Brian emerged as a real diamond in the rough.

"It gives me great satisfaction knowing these guys are hungry and we have found two players who are willing to learn and do all of the right things for us."

Derby-born Sherlock graduated from Wayne State College in Nebraska this year, and the 6ft 8in forward has said: "I was working a summer job in Derby and I saw an advert for the trials on the Eagles website. Here I am and raring to go."

The versatile McCotter played his basketball with Troon Tornadoes last season, a team now in the same BBL Trophy Group as the Eagles.

After helping Troon to the double, the 6ft 1in guard, from Northern Ireland, is hoping he can land similar success with the Eagles. He said: "I know that you have to earn everything at Newcastle and it will be a learning experience."

Both players will make their debuts on Friday against Cork.

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