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Class act Paul a big boost to Belfast Star's hopes of retaining title: Fulton

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Paul Dick has signed up with Star

Paul Dick has signed up with Star

�INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Paul Dick has signed up with Star

Belfast Star have pulled off a major coup by signing All-Ireland Superleague title winner Paul Dick.

The 29-year-old has been a key member of trophy-laden Tralee Warriors in recent years and before that he was a professional for German side Limburg, following on from his first time at Star. Playing in Regional Two in Germany, he was voted the overall Player of the Year.

A gifted guard who has the ability to give any defence in the Superleague a torrid time, Dick is just the kind of player Star need following the exit of teen sensation CJ Fulton to a scholarship in Boston. Star fans must have been wondering how they were going to replace those regular 20-point games and now they have the answer.

Star head coach Adrian Fulton has no doubt that Dick is going to play a leading role in the club's fight to retain the title they won in such dramatic fashion last season.

"It's a big boost for us to have Paul, there's no doubt about that. Paul has the ability to play in many different positions and everybody knows the quality he brings to the court," said Fulton.

"I thought he was the best player in the league two seasons ago when Tralee won the league so that's the calibre of player we are getting.

"I know he is really looking forward to playing alongside some of the guys he grew up with. Having lost CJ to the States and Keelan Cairns to Cork, this is just what we needed.

"The only problem is that Paul is currently having treatment on his ankle so he won't be able to play for us until December."

Star have also managed to add Englishman Johnny Foulds as they count down to the start of the season which is scheduled for October 17, despite Basketball Ireland ruling, due to Covid-19, that no pre-season friendlies can take place over the next fortnight.

Fulton added: "I just can't see how they can expect clubs to start on October 17 without having been able to play properly and, secondly, without having had the chance to run through the necessary game day protocols because of the virus.

"I am planning as normal as if we are starting in a couple of weeks but I really feel that the season should be pushed back a month and that's not going to affect anyone.

"We are waiting to hear an official announcement but I would be hopeful that it would come shortly."

Star have kept training, using the newly-surfaced courts at St Malachy's Grammar over the summer as well as the gym under Covid-19 protocols.

"We've been working very hard in practice and we are having to adapt to the fact that we have new personnel for this season but it has been going well," added Fulton.

"Of course nothing beats games and that's why it's so important that we have warm-up matches before the season."

Belfast Telegraph