Newcastle Eagles have released Richard Midgley (pictured) after receiving an approach by Everton Tigers to sign the player. Midgley signed for the Eagles during the summer and Managing Director Paul Blake has explained the decision to release him.

‘It would be fair to say that a move to Everton is in the best interests of all parties concerned. The club has been successful in recent years and we had hoped that Richard would want to be part of a club that will hopefully be challenging for silverware again. We certainly never like to see any players of such a high calibre leave but we feel that it is never healthy to stand in the way of someone who wants to leave and does not wish to continue playing for us. Although Everton are one of our rivals, I think it is fantastic that Richard is going to continue playing in the BBL and it certainly shows that the Tigers are an ambitious club. We thank Richard for his efforts during the short time he was with us and wish him every success in the future’.

Blake has assured fans that a replacement will be brought in although there won’t be any panic.

‘We didn’t expect Richard to be leaving at this stage of the season although we always knew that European clubs might come in for him so we have catered for this eventually. Richard’s transfer to Everton has allowed us additional resource to strengthen the roster. There is no reason for us to rush out and sign the first player we come across. We will take our time and look at who is available but I would like to assure the club’s supporters that we only want to bring in another quality player.’

The move comes just days ahead of Newcastle’s BBL Cup semi-final clash with the SAMG Verve Scottish Rocks, taking place on Saturday at K2 Arena, Crawley.