Visa issues hamper Sharks’ point guard plans

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sheffield Sharks will once again be without point-guard Jimmy Langhurst for Friday’s match with Cheshire Jets after the American’s visa difficulties continue to drag on.

Langhurst was originally signed on a temporary ‘tier five’ working visa after the deal to bring BJ Jenkins to the club fell through just before the season began - again through paperwork issues. However, such has been the form of the 23-year-old the Sharks decided to make his stay in Sheffield permanent, which means another visa is needed.

Langhurst returned to the United States before Christmas and is expected to be back in Sheffield on January 10 once his new ‘tier two’ visa is approved.

Sharks director Sarah Backovic said it has been a frustrating time for both the player and the club: “It’s typical of how this season has been going for us so far.

“The visa system has changed this year, which makes the process a lot longer. Add in Christmas and the New Year and getting Jimmy’s paperwork through has taken more time than expected.”

Sharks were stretched to limit in their defeat at Glasgow Rocks on December 30. Already one player short on their roster they also had the absence of Langhurst and Justin Dobbins suffering with flu to contend with.

It hasn’t been the best of times for player-coach Atiba Lyons. He is currently in America at the funeral of his grandma who passed away just before Christmas.

The Star understands that the Sharks asked the BBL to rearrange their match at Glasgow because of their roster issues, but at such short notice the home team were unable to do so.