Eagles yet to land Robbo

Newcastle Eagles could be without two import players when they tip off the new BBL season on Friday night in Sheffield.

Newcastle Eagles could be without two import players when they tip off the new BBL season on Friday night in Sheffield.

New shooting guard Shawan Robinson had still not received his visa today, with the club unable to do anything other than wait for news from the United States.

Even if Robinson does arrive in time to play, Flournoy is likely to be reluctant to introduce the Clemson graduate without him having spent time practicing with his new team-mates.

Club owner Paul Blake has been frantically making calls to try and ensure the player does arrive in time but admitted to feeling frustrated.

He said: "We have done everything we can and have been in contact with Shawan to try and resolve the situation.

"There has been an ongoing problem with him obtaining his visa and this means he has not arrived when he was expected to.

"It is frustrating for everyone concerned and not least Fab and the guys, who are busy preparing for the first game of the season.

"The position is not ideal but we are still hopeful he will be with us in time to play some part in the game."

The situation has been made worse by the club's failure to bring in a big man, although this is something which could yet be rectified.

Originally Blake and Flournoy had been spending all of their time looking at import players.

However, when Great Britain centre Chris Haslam became available last week and spent time training with the side, they reviewed their plans.

Both Blake and Flournoy rate Haslam but the situation appears to have reached a stalemate. Haslam returned to Tyneside on Monday and many expected him to put pen to paper - but the Springfield Honda-backed club have a careful balancing act to consider.

They could bring in an import player out of college for less money and therefore still leave funds available to strengthen the squad further.

While the 6ft 11in Haslam is a class act both on and off the court, it could leave the Eagles looking very one-dimensional if they plumped for the GB star and went into the new campaign without the services of a genuine swingman.

Newcastle are not alone in having an incomplete roster since there has been a definite trend across the BBL of players and clubs holding out for better deals.

I therefore expect a flurry of transfer activity in the next 48 hours.

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