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Coach O'Neill is determined to make Star a real force once again

Basketball

By David Kelly

Belfast Star coach Darren O'Neill has revealed how he expects the club to be transformed into one with a genuine hope of silverware next season.

Star struggled throughout the All-Ireland Superleague season, which ended last weekend, and O'Neill is determined to see that change.

O'Neill returned to coach the side last summer after a number of years away having previously led them to Superleague glory in the late 1990s. On the back of this season's tribulations, O'Neill - along with assistant coach Danny Fulton - has been working to hit the ground running for the 2017-18 campaign.

"The culture at the club has to change and that will happen partly through new personnel. We need more depth and quality and that's why we already have players lined up to sign for next season," said O'Neill.

"Overall I was disappointed with the season, we lost too many games and we need to change that. We played all year without a genuine point guard and we want to bring in two for next season. We are 75 per cent along the way to doing that.

"In the Superleague if you're going to be successful you are going to need a real force inside, so from that point of view we need a very strong American and again we are already looking at two possible targets.

"This summer we want to have a very strong pre-season."

While O'Neill is eager to bolster his side from without, he is keen to see those within the Star set-up develop their game.

"This club has always brought through very good players and I want to see our Irish players progress. I'll be doing individual sessions to help them move on and bringing in new quality will only help them raise their game," he added.

"I'm not going to say that if all goes to plan we will win the league because a lot of other sides will be looking to strengthen but I would be confident of having a team that will be a much greater threat."

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