Paul Blake is predicting excitement from the new-look Newcastle Eagles after re-signing crowd favourite Paul Gause.
A veteran of the 2012 clean-sweep side, Gause has returned to run the point again next season and says he is looking forward to entertaining the Sport Central crowd.
He is the latest arrival on Tyneside following the recent signing of Malik Cooke, Stuart Thomson and Scott Martin – all newcomers who will add physical presence and scoring potential to the team.
Unlike the others, he will need no introduction to Eagles supporters having averaged 15 points in his first campaign with Newcastle over a year ago. He spent last year in Slovakia, along with a stint in Morocco.
It is a measure of his willingness to come back that he was prepared to drop the wage demands that originally threatened to torpedo the move.
“I’ve played in a few European countries now and my best time was certainly in Newcastle, it feels like a home from home. I’m really looking forward to coming back and meeting old friends again,” he said.
“The team is shaping up well and I can’t wait to get Sport Central on their feet.”
For Blake – who pushed hard for the deal after originally fearing that it would fall down because of finances – it is a pleasure to welcome back a player who remains a firm favourite with supporters. He said: “Paul is an entertainer and that is an important thing for us. We know he was a big crowd favourite first time around and that is because of the athleticism and energy he has. The team this year feels like it has a bit more of that about it. There is a really pleasing mix of athleticism and physicality and I think it will be a very exciting team to watch this season.”
The Eagles are set to finalise their roster by the end of the week, but snapping up Gause finally brings an end to their long hunt for a point guard.
“It’s fair to say that we were keen at the start of the summer to bring back Damon Huffman, but it became pretty obvious pretty early on that was not going to be a possibility,” he said.
“Fab got in touch with Paul and from my perspective I know he was a firm fans’ favourite so it was a deal we were always very, very interested in. Paul had a really good spell here last time and won everything.
“He’s got great motivation and he’s got great energy and when you pair him with the guys that we’ve already signed – who are desperate to prove themselves – it should be a really good mix for us this season.”
For Flournoy, it is an excellent signing and reunites him with a player who was a big success first time around.
The Eagles head-coach wanted more strength and has been given that with his latest recruit – as well as a player he knows and who will not take time to settle in.