Ulster Rockets fired up to win All Ireland National League promotion
The Ulster Rockets are heading back into the All Ireland National League and the build-up towards the season starts with a top tournament this weekend.
The Rockets were unable to compete in last year's All Ireland league, but coach Breda Dick is confident her girls can gain promotion from Division One into the Premier League with a side mixed with youth and experience.
The 'Blitz it' tournament, which is being backed by Belfast City Council, will be run at Methodist College and La Salle with the Rockets taking on Spanish side Molina from Murcia, NUIG Galway and Cavan Eagles in the senior event, while there will also be an under-18 tournament.
Coach Dick has been busy making sure her young girls are in top shape for the new season, which will see the likes of teenagers Briana Mulherne, Hannah Byrne and Charlie McGrath looking to grasp the opportunity of playing at a higher level.
"We had the girls out in New York and they got to play at Madison Square Garden ahead of a women's NBA match which had 5,000 at it and we have been working hard in pre-season to make sure we have a real chance of promotion. The top two teams get promoted and that has to be our aim," said Breda.
"It's very important for the sport here to have a women's team at the top level and it's good we have people like Ciara O'Neill and Helena O'Dornan with their experience, and Nicola Rafferty joining from Dungannon will be a major boost.
"The tournament is a crucial part of our build-up as we will put out a senior team and an under-18 team and having the backing of Belfast City Council was essential to making it happen."