As his side prepare to face Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders in Sunday’s BBL Cup final, Newcastle Eagles’ player-coach Fabulous Flournoy is taking one game at a time.
Eagles will be defending the Cup they won against UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders last season, a success that provided the springboard for the north east club to complete a clean sweep of all four BBL titles.
But despite that success, coach Fabulous Flournoy isn’t looking ahead at another clean-sweep: “I haven’t even thought about back to back clean sweeps until you asked the question. Primarily because in my mind our team this year stands alone as a totally different team to last year: I don’t link the two years at all. But also because it’s pretty disrespectful to everyone else to start talking about winning all four when we have yet to win even one. Every year our target is to win one trophy and anything else is a bonus. That target doesn’t change.
“Last year the clean sweep really wasn’t a consideration until after we had won at Cheshire in the semi-final of the playoffs. The moment that you look beyond the next game as a coach is the moment you lose focus as a team and it is my job to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
While Riders were in action at London Lions on Tuesday, Eagles will have gone 16 days without a competitive game before the final, and Flournoy admits he is unsure whether that will be beneficial for his side.
“We have worked hard in practice in order to keep some rhythm and are also grateful to Marc Steutel at Team Northumbria who has agreed to play a practice game against us.
It’s always difficult to know whether you benefit more from rest or from a tough schedule. Last year we played a lot of games before the final but were able to ensure everyone stayed healthy and had some success.
“This year we had a very heavy December schedule when we picked up some niggly injuries and then a week off before the final to rest them. So it’s really a question of wait and see. If we win, the rest was good, if we lose it was bad!!”