Fab Flournoy 568Newcastle Eagles’ player-coach Fabulous Flournoy is refusing to think of another domestic clean sweep, ahead of his team’s BBL Cup defence on Sunday.

The Eagles victory over Plymouth Raiders last January provided the springboard for the north east club to complete a clean sweep of all four BBL titles.

But they go into the NIA clash lieing second in the league to opponents Leicester – and with real competition likely to follow in the Trophy and play-offs.

And Flournoy insists he will take it one piece of silverware at a time.

“Primarily,” he said, “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 victorious at London Lions on Tuesday, Eagles will have gone 16 days without a competitive game before the final and were forced to seek out a friendly against Northumbria University on Monday night to help their  preparations.

“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.”


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