Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Star's title bid about to face acid test

 

By David Kelly

The next four games will show if Belfast Star truly have the credentials for silverware this season, according to head coach Adrian Fulton.

Star have had a two-week break since their last All Ireland Superleague game and on Saturday night face a real test when they travel to face Tralee.

Currently joint top after five games with a solitary defeat alongside Templeogue, Star have already sent some shockwaves throughout the league with the manner in which they have propelled themselves to the summit of the table.

But, coach Fulton insists they are now going to face a stern examination of their quality when taking on Tralee followed by a home clash against Moycullen and two meetings with Killorglin in the league and Cup.

"The Superleague is looking like a bloodbath at the moment. You just never know what is going to happen next. I would say the title could go to one of five or six teams. More than other seasons the strength of depth in squads is going to be critical. Everyone gets injuries and it's how you handle that," said Fulton.

"We have started very well. I'm not surprised that we are at the top of the table early on, because we have a good squad, but we haven't been ruthless enough in matches and these next four games are going to show us a lot about what we can do this season.

"There have been times when we have been up by 20 and then taken our foot off the gas and if you keep doing that it will come back to bite you. So far the guys have shown good character which is good but I want to see a ruthless streak as well.

"This match with Tralee is going to be a really tough test. They're a very good side and have great support so it's about rising to that kind of occasion."

One man who has certainly shown the kind of steel and class that Fulton admires is American Mike Davis who since joining Star has made a major impact with 30-point performances.

Fulton added: "There is no doubt that Mike has been tremendous. I can understand people focusing on his scoring but he is very good at the other end of the court as well and he has come in and given us leadership.

"He's a very competitive guy, even in training he fights hard and holds players accountable. That kind of attitude rubs off on the other players. He's also a real team player, he's not selfish - that is crucial for any side."

Meanwhile, Star's Under-18 side impressed at the weekend when they finished top of their pool and qualified for the quarter-finals of the Cup - emulating the senior side.

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