The Eagles new look 2013-14 side finally sees the return of two familiar faces in the ‘Prince’ Charles Smith and Darius Defoe.

Both players have spent over a decade at the club, Smith entering his 11th season with the Eagles, an ever present at the club since 1999. Defoe enters his 12th season in a row with the Eagles, joining the club in 2002 following discussions with ex Eagles head coach Tony Garbelotto.

Smith has built a reputation as the ‘go to’ guy for the hugely successful franchise and is pleased to be returning to his home town club for another year of competition;

‘It will be great to get another year underway, the last three or four seasons have been a rollercoaster experience from winning everything to winning nothing. On past form this should be our year again!’

28 year old Defoe has shown consistent development in his role at the club and once again this summer has turned down offers in Europe to stay in the North East;

‘I can’t believe it is my 12th season with the team this year but I’ve enjoyed every year, it’s a great place to be. I can’t wait to get going and win some trophies back!’

Eagles managing director Paul Blake was pleased to see the return of the pairing;

’Charles and Darius are the backbone of our club alongside Fab. They have been ever presents for so long now and set a great tone for everything that goes on here, I look forward to seeing them and the rest of the group coming together for a new season.’

The clock is now ticking to the start of the 2013-14 season. Final signings will be announced in the next fortnight and the club will be participating in two home pre-season games in early September. The club will play partner club Team Northumbria at Sport Central on Monday 9th September at Sport Central and a week later on Monday 16th September against Team USA Select at Benfield Centre for Sport. Both games will be limited tickets events, tickets will go on sale early next week.