Belfast Telegraph

Basketball: Fulton up for challenge

By David Kelly

Head coach Adrian Fulton says his Northern Ireland team are ready for the biggest challenge of their young careers in Stirling this weekend.

Fulton, who has fellow former All Ireland Superleague player Gerard Ryan as his assistant coach, knows the under-14 side will be the outsiders, but insists the experience will be priceless as they look to develop their game.

"This is their World Cup. Both the boys and girls teams will be up against the Scottish national side and sides from Spanish regions. The tournament is one of only three FIBA recognised U14 tournaments in Europe so the standard is very high," said Fulton.

"It's the third time we have gone to the tournament and we have yet to win a game, so we know it's going to be very tough again, but it's great that the players are getting this experience at this stage of their careers.

"Usually our players have to wait until much later for international experience. It's held in The Peak Centre in Stirling which is an excellent venue."

Fulton, whose St Malachy's Grammar school side retained the All Ireland under-19 Cup this year, also feels it will be a major boost for the players as they count down to the inter-regionals later in the year.

"In October the Irish squad will be picked after the inter-regionals so this will get the guys sharpened up for that," he added.

Northern Ireland BOYS: Matthew Rooney and Tom Dunford (Queens and OLSPCK), Niall McGinnity, Peter Henvey, Conor Ryan, CJ Fulton (Belfast Star and St.Malachy's College, Belfast), Conor Mason (Phoenix BC and Wallace High School, Lisburn), Max Dimitrov (Phoenix BC and Forthill College, Lisburn), Peter Corr and Brian Lynn (Phoenix BC and Rathmore Grammar School), Andrew O'Connor (Blackwater Steelers and St Mac Cartan's, Monaghan), Padraig McGettigan (Letterkenny Blaze and St.Eunan's, Letterkenny)

NORTHERN IRELAND GIRLS: Sinead Murray (Queens), Ciara McCreanor, Aoibheann McCarvill, Enya Maguire and Niamh Fitzpatrick (Ulster Elks), Alison McBride, Amy Mulligan, Morgan McKenna and Kelly McCormill (Blackwater Steelers), Chloe Cassidy and Eimhear Morris (Phoenix)

Coaches: Adrian Fulton and Gerard Ryan

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