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Belfast Star on right footing in pursuit of All-Ireland joy

By David Kelly

Published 21/04/2016

Best foot forward: Belfast Star Basketball players (l-r) Keelan Cairns, Liam Pettigrew, Ant Lessane and Sasha Seymore, who will be sponsored by Skechers for the forthcoming Irish Premier League
Best foot forward: Belfast Star Basketball players (l-r) Keelan Cairns, Liam Pettigrew, Ant Lessane and Sasha Seymore, who will be sponsored by Skechers for the forthcoming Irish Premier League

Belfast Star have landed a crucial sponsorship deal with Skechers which the club believes can help them to All-Ireland silverware.

It's been 20 years since Star won back-to-back All-Ireland league titles and while they have been in and around the top four play-offs in recent years a trophy has eluded them.

But, having announced their deal with Skechers, Star are looking ahead to next season in the All-Ireland Premier League with renewed optimism. Coach Neal McCotter has seen his side progress over the past two years but clubs south of the border such as Killester, Demons and Templeogue have benefitted from greater financial resources and that has helped them stay one step ahead of the Belfast club.

Chairman Bill McCotter, father of Neal, is hoping that this new deal allied with the recruitment of some new talent will bolster the club's ambition to once more rule the All-Ireland league.

"We're delighted to have this sponsorship deal with Skechers. It means a great deal for the club and it does give us much needed help in trying to make sure we have a team who can truly threaten the top clubs from down south," said McCotter.

"These are difficult times for many and it's not easy acquiring any sponsorship so to agree a deal with a brand such as Skechers is a massive coup for us.

"The club has had two solid years but we want to really build a team that has all the ingredients to be a force that the rest of the league will be wary of.

So we are already making plans for next season, we want to have everything in place earlier than before including our American professional so we give ourselves the best chance of getting some silverware.

"We have won the All-Ireland title but never the National Cup and that is something that we would love to put right having come so close in previous finals.

"The club is moving forward generally, we have some young blood on the committee and we recently celebrated 50 years of a great history and I believe there are many more good years to come."

This Saturday night Star will look to be top dogs in Ulster when their Premier League club take on UUJ in the Ulster Cup final at De La Salle's sports gym.

Belfast Telegraph

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