Fab looking forward

Newcastle Eagles' player-coach Fab Flournoy will not be rushed into finding an import forward despite the new BBL season tipping off in just 11 days' time.

Newcastle Eagles' player-coach Fab Flournoy will not be rushed into finding an import forward despite the new BBL season tipping off in just 11 days' time.

The New Yorker has been working overtime to identify a suitable big man to share the load with Olu Babalola and Darius Defoe but so far has been unable to identify his first choice in what is proving to be a tortuous task.

He said: "We know what we are looking for and after a spending a huge chunk of time dealing with potential players and their agents we are now only a little closer to making a decision.

"We could go ahead and appoint any of the five or so guys who are on our short list. How-ever, it is a little bit more important than that. They are all looking good but nobody is standing out from the crowd and that prolongs the process.

"It is delaying things because we are now into the finer details of doing thorough checks and making sure our homework is sound."

Flournoy added: "A lot of players have talent but they need a little more than that to come to our club. Paul Blake and I normally get a feel for players and we will resolve this issue soon but we will not be hurried into making a decision. It is just far too important for that.

"We do not want to be left making the wrong choice and having to start all over again once the season has started if it is the case someone does not work out."

Flournoy knows he probably has enough strength in his starting five not to have to make any rash decisions on a forward.

One decision which has been taken by the Springfield Honda-backed club is not to renew the contract of Perry Lawson.

The young guard was on the bench for Great Britain in their European qualifier against Belarus over the weekend.

With Sheffield Sharks now also unlikely to hand him a deal, it could be left for former Eagles coach Tony Garbelotto to pick him up at London United.

Without Lawson and an import power forward, the Eagles are now sweating on the arrival from the United States of new signing Shawan Robinson.

As is usually the case, the matter is out of the club's hands as they await a work permit for the Clemson graduate ahead of Friday's friendly with Cork Blue Demons.

Former Eagles forward Andrew Sullivan led Great Britain with 18 points in Sheffield but it was not enough to prevent his crashing to a dramatic 69-68 loss to Belarus.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer