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McCotter delights in Star's rise to summit



Star man: American Mike Davis has been in great form for the Belfast side

Star man: American Mike Davis has been in great form for the Belfast side

Star man: American Mike Davis has been in great form for the Belfast side

Chairman Bill McCotter admits he did not think Belfast Star would have soared so quickly in the All Ireland Superleague this season after a summer of exciting recruitment.

For so long a mid-table team, McCotter and the club committee dug deep into their resources and unearthed three professional gems in Mike Davis, Sergio Vidal and Mark Berlic for coach Adrian Fulton to knit together with his local men and going into this weekend's clash with Killorglin they stand at the top of the league dreaming of title glory.

McCotter insists there is a long way to go before they can truly start thinking of silverware, though it should be noted that a Cup quarter-final is the second of back-to-back weekends against Killorglin.

The chairman has been greatly encouraged by Star's rise and in particular the electrifying impact of American Mike Davis.

"There's no doubt that we have a depth in our squad that has probably not been there for about 15 years but at the same time we have been competing with one of our Irish internationals Conor Quinn playing with one hand and his twin brother Aidan sitting on the sidelines, so I wouldn't have believed that we could be top of the league at this point," said McCotter.

"Our coach Adrian Fulton has done a very good job along with Javan Dupree in blending the guys together and Adrian was the one who came and said to us about our American Mike Davis who has been outstanding.

"Adrian wanted an American who could create his own shots, who could come up with something on his own and that's what we have in Mike. Even if the team are maybe struggling a bit at some point in a match he can keep producing to make sure the scoreboard keeps ticking over.

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"He's able to produce something out of nothing because he is so quick and is also very strong which is easily underestimated. He has struggled a little to get used to the FIBA rules but is adapting. He's a guy who has the X-factor and that's so important.

"That is not to take away from any of the other players because everybody has been contributing."

Slovenian Berlic has proved to be a hit with the supporters with his no-nonsense intensity, while Spaniard Sergio Vidal has been a revelation, although - McCotter admitting a large slice of fortune brought him to Belfast.

"I got an email from him one day saying he wanted to play for a side where he could also improve his English and we went for him and he has proved to be one of the smartest players the club has ever had," added McCotter.

"There's no doubt there is a real buzz about the club and the crowds are now getting very close to the kind of numbers we used to do at the old Maysfield Leisure Centre nearly 20 years ago."

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