Esh Group Eagles Newcastle will once again be piloted from the sidelines and on the court by Fabulous Flournoy who returns for his 13th season as The Eagles Head Coach and his 14th season in all on Tyneside.
Question marks were raised at the end of the last BBL season as to whether Flournoy might move on or whether he would quit all together as the most successful Coach in the history of British Basketball has always said when he quits playing he’ll quit coaching.
After completely severing his Achilles Tendon in The BBL Trophy Final against Leicester and missing the rest of the season as a player many wondered if the soon to be 42-year old could make it back on to his beloved hardwood as a player.
Flournoy never had any doubts.
“Yes it was a bad injury and yes it’s a long slow recovery but I’m getting there. When pre-season rolls around I should be a lot closer to playing than I am now. In September I may not be 100% but I will be back on the court.”
“It never entered my head to quit as a player and it never entered my head to quit as a Player/Coach. Although people look at my age and my injury and think this should be it for me as a player.”
“I was asked what does it mean for your future at the club? Will I coach or will I play? It might take a while for me to get fully fit but I’ll be ready to play when the time is right. If there is anything that does not feel right then I will address it. As for now my focus is getting back on court and putting together a team that will be competitive and compete at the top!”
“To be honest I can’t wait. Last season was fantastic. We deservedly won all four trophies and once again put to rest that the Eagles are too old and not as good as previous seasons. With all that we accomplished last season it’s now in the past. It is time to move on and to create new goals.”
Superb news for not just for The Eagles but British Basketball in general as there’s no doubting that the BBL is a better, more competitive place when Flournoy is exerting his influential personality around the league’s courts.
Twenty-two trophies in the last eleven seasons have come Newcastle’s way under Flournoy’s unique passion filled guidance and the hunger is there to add more.
“To be honest you never get tired of winning, it’s the greatest feeling in the world. Work started for this season the minute the final buzzer went in The Play-Off Final. At Newcastle we always look forward and not back. That’s part of our success.” “Newcastle Eagles is a great Club with great fans and great support behind the scenes. Having the right players is one thing, but the people around the club are instrumental, the sponsors, the staff, the volunteers and fans are the life line of the club and without them it is very difficult to be successful. A family orientated team playing for a family orientated club. Bottom line Newcastle Eagles are one big family!”
“I’m excited about the new season as I am for every season and I’m excited about the challenge of putting a side together to challenge and compete at the top. It is always difficult to win silverware and to win all four pieces is amazing, but the question now will be how this seasons team compares to last years. Will we be as good or have we peaked? Other teams will be coming after us. And as the off season comes to a close we are seeing announcements from other clubs about signings and future plans. The league is getting stronger every year. This season will be no different and we will defend our legacy as other teams try and create one.”
There’s no doubt on Tyneside that news that their Fabulous leader is back for another season is a great boost to all and what the basketball public of Newcastle wanted to hear. The club plan to make player announcements in the very near future and also the pre-season schedule including news on some exciting pre-season events. Eagles first BBL championship home game will be at Northumbria University Sport Central against Leeds Force on Sunday 27th September, tip-off 5pm. Tickets are now available at www.newcastle-eagles.com.