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Ger Ryan calls on professionals to give Belfast Star a swagger against Tralee


James Claar

James Claar

James Claar

Ger Ryan will be at the helm for Belfast Star tonight when they take on Tralee and he is calling on the side’s professionals to drive them to their biggest win of the All-Ireland Superleague campaign so far.

Head coach Adrian Fulton has tested positive for coronavirus which has left him on the sidelines and so assistant coach Ryan has been leading the Star men in practice this week ahead of an acid test in the De La Salle College gym (tip-off 5pm).

Ryan admits he has been in constant contact with Fulton leading up to this evening’s clash when Star will need Americans James Claar and Austin Beech, along with Englishmen Jonny Foulds and Max Cooper, to take the fight to Tralee.

Ryan said: “I still don’t think we have clicked into gear as a side and there is a lot more to come. We just lack consistency, not even from one game to the next but also within games and those bad moments have to be erased. I know they can do it and I want to see our professionals play with a lot more swagger.

“At the moment there is a sense that they are playing with a little bit of a weight on their shoulders so what I want to see against Tralee is the guys playing with more freedom.

“It’s obviously a blow not to have Adrian with us because he is such a good coach and so inspirational but everyone has to come and really give it their best shot, including me.”

One man who has started to truly fire in recent weeks is US ace Beech and Ryan will be hoping that he can really light up the gym this evening.

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“Over the last three weeks Austin has put in some very good performances, not just in games but also in practice. He has given us a different option. It’s a bit tricky working out how to use the Americans because we have two but one can only be on the court at any one time,” added Ryan.

“Our biggest issue has been that we haven’t been scoring as much as we should have so I’m hoping that is going to change against Tralee.

“Defensively we’ve been looking good so hopefully we can build on that.”

Tralee Warriors head coach John Dowling commented: “It will be a huge experience for our younger players to play on the road and we know they are up for the task.

“We have the utmost respect for the whole Belfast organisation and we’re looking forward to taking to the hardwood in Belfast for the first time in two seasons.”

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