Fab Flournoy was looking forward to welcoming his latest addition today as Bryan Defares finally landed on Tyneside. The Eagles coach has been operating with a paper-thin squad of late, and the arrival of the Dutch guard will be a tremendous boost for a roster that has been decimated by injuries.

While Flournoy and the players have typically produced some terrific backs-to-the-wall performances in difficult circumstances and could do with an extra body, that doesn’t mean Defares will be pitched into the heat of the battle against the Rocks at the Newcastle Arena tomorrow night.

Flournoy explained: ‘Even if we manage to get international clearance, it doesn’t mean that Bryan will play any kind of major role in the game against the Rocks. If we need a body then he will be thrown in, but it is a lot to ask any player stepping off a plane to have to learn plays and our system – it is just about impossible.’

‘Having said that, I am really excited about Bryan because he offers real versatility and a team ethic that we love.
“He can play in three positions and, because of the way we play, he can not only take pressure off us in the one and two spots but even in the three and four spots too.’

The New Yorker believes Defares will prove to be a canny acquisition in time, and once he has been put through his paces, Flournoy is adamant the Dutchman can be a real hit in the BBL.

‘Bryan is going to be a different player this time next week after he has practised with us and he will be even better the week after that. He will get stronger and I can’t wait to start working with him and utilising his many assets. It’s great from a coaching standpoint and also from a fellow player’s view that we are bringing in a player who averages almost four assists per game and clearly likes to share the ball around his team.’

‘If everything pans out, Bryan can be a great fit for us at this stage of the season, and I am hoping he can have a real positive impact on the rest of the guys. Even looking past the games themselves, I can’t emphasise enough what it means to have another quality player in practice all week, pushing everyone else on.’