Esh Group Eagles Newcastle v Leeds Force


Friday 31 October 2014  

Sport Central (19:30)

Charles Smith further underlined his legendary position at Newcastle Eagles last week, and as their latest line-up prepare to face Leeds Force in the BBL Cup, the forward feels it could be one of their best yet.

Fifteen years after making his debut at Brighton Bears, the 39-year-old reached 6,000 career points in the BBL with 20 against Surrey United.

That victory was followed by success at London Lions, Eagles’ sixth straight since dropping their opener to Worcester Wolves.

“We aren’t where we want to be but we are getting there and once everyone gets up to speed and playing at the top of their game we are going to be a very dangerous team,” said Smith.

“I don’t really like to compare teams but with the pieces we have this could be one of the most talented teams I’ve been on.

“We just need to show it on the court in a more consistent matter. Ask me this question against the end of the season.”

Smith has won countless honours with Eagles but, last season’s BBL Cup isn’t one of them, despite the American’s 27 points in the final, as Leicester Riders fought back from 11 points down in the last six minutes.

The nature of that defeat won’t drive Eagles, however, simply winning itself.

Smith added: “The way we lost won’t motivate us, it’s the fact we lost and we want that piece of silverware and it’s the first one up, and we are still in the competition. That’s all the motivation we need.”

Standing in their way will be Leeds Force, who beat Manchester Giants to reach this stage, and, according to Smith, are rapidly improving in their first season in the BBL.

“They have been getting better every week so we can’t take them lightly,” he said.

“We will come out and want to play better then our last game and get a win.”

What they say:

Force coach Matt Newby: “To beat Newcastle at Sport Central in the Cup would be a huge achievement and one that can only come about with strict preparation and perfect execution.

“We know that we are walking in and matching up with arguably one of strongest and deepest rosters in the league this season. But in reality we have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

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