Eagles player-coach Fabulous Flournoy has dismissed speculation he will move for ex-Newcastle favourite Andrew Sullivan to replace defector Richard Midgley, ahead of this afternoon’s BBL Cup semi-final clash with the Scottish Rocks.
The Tynesiders were rocked by the shock departure of star point guard Midgley, who made his debut for Everton last night, scoring 18 points in the Tigers’ 93-77 win over Cheshire Jets.
But rumours that Sullivan, now with Belgian side Mons, would replace the colossal shoes of Midgley are unfounded according to Flournoy.
‘I haven’t spoken to Andrew for about four weeks,’ said Flournoy. ‘I spoke to the Great Britain coach Chris Finch and his assistant Tony Garbelotto on Monday morning, because I was unsure of how things were going with Richard. I have had no contact with Andrew. He is playing with a good team and as well as being a good coach.’
I mentioned Andrew as a possible player we might get if we were looking to do well in Europe, but we are not at that stage yet and I have a long list of people who could do that. We are looking for the best all-round player to fill the shoes of Richard, and I don’t know if that will come from the academy or from the Team Northumbria squad or elsewhere.’
Sullivan, who currently plies his trade under Finch at Mons, was a huge fans’ favourite.
But highly-decorated player-coach Flournoy is insistent that if Sullivan was available then there is the possibility that he would make an approach for the former BBL MVP. ‘I am not aware of his status right now,’ said Flournoy. ‘But he is on my wish list. Just like if I was going to get hold of players, then Michael Jordan would be on my wish list.
If the resources were available then I would have him back on the team, but he earns four times the player budget. So if we had that type of money he would never have left the team in the first place. But if someone was going to hand us the money then that would be great. But we are not rushing to bring a player in to fill the shoes of Richard.’
When Flournoy’s roster of experienced veterans and promising youngsters travel to Crawley’s K2 stadium today they will know it is the first step to completing the cup success they so desire.
The Rocks are the only team apart from Guildford to have put one over the high-flying Eagles this season. Flournoy’s men suffered at the hands of Sterling Davis’ roster a fortnight ago when they lost 92-73.
And the 34-year-old is wary of a squad ripe with talent and a solid foundation. The BBL veteran said: “They’ve kept the European style that former coach Thorsten Leibenath used last season. He left a good legacy, and the system works.
‘Sterling’s done a fantastic job to mould it to how he wants it to work. His guys are buying into it, and working on it.’