Fab Flournoy’s biggest challenge this summer will be replacing the departed Andy Thomson in his Newcastle Eagles dynasty.
Thomson has left the club to take up a deal with La Rochelle in France, leaving Flournoy without one of the stars of their incredible clean sweep of trophies last season.
He told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle: “Andy is a good player and perhaps the one thing I would say is that I probably took him for granted
“He was only here for a year but it felt like it was five years. He was the shoe that fit perfectly and we had the perfect marriage.
“Every year I get asked about replacing a certain player and my answer is always the same – they are irreplaceable. Andy is just the same.
“Andy Thomson was Andy Thomson. There’s other players that might be as good as him or might be able to do what he can do but they don’t have the same mix of things on and off the court that Andy had. They can’t replicate his personality.”
In terms of a winning pedigree, Thomson will certainly be hard to replace. He has won eight of the last nine BBL medals on offer, the first of which came when Everton Tigers won the play-offs at the end of the 2009/10 season.
He has since won the BBL Championship, BBL Trophy and BBL play-offs with the Tigers in 2010/11, before following that up with last season’s quadruple at Eagles. The only missing piece of the jigsaw is the 2010/11 BBL Cup, in which the Tigers lost to Sheffield Sharks in the final.