Belfast Star coach Adrian Fulton admits he is having to ride out a storm of problems as his side prepare to face Killester in Dublin tomorrow night.
Star’s defence of the All Ireland Superleague title started with a loss at home to Marian and they also suffered a freak injury to Aidan Quinn in the warm-up, which means he is not expected back in action until after Christmas. With Liam Pettigrew already injured it now seems that top new signing is also out until 2022.
If that’s all the bad news covered, Fulton was delighted to see new signing, American Austin Beech arriving in on Tuesday and he will go straight into action tomorrow.
“I was delighted when we got Austin because it has been a tough time with everything that has been going on. In the last two months of the previous season things seemed to slot into place for us, but now we’re getting the reverse multiplied by 10,” said Fulton.
“Austin is a very good athlete and it’s a boost that we will be able to replace one American for another. We obviously had a certain idea how we would play with Paul Dick and Aidan Quinn two of our starter,s but now they’re out it just changes everything.
“So, we’re going through a bit of a storm and it’s up to me and Ger to come up with the right ideas of how we go forward.
“Ideally, this is the kind of thing you do in pre-season, we’re having to do that in just the second game of the season, but we have a talented bunch of players and they will adapt.”
American James Claar made a solid start last Sunday despite the loss to Marian, while Fulton admitted he was particularly pleased with the performance of young Conor Ryan.
“When you have a situation like this it opens up opportunities for others to stake a claim for a place and I have to say that Conor Ryan grabbed his chance and was excellent against Marian,” added Fulton.
“Conor showed some of our other younger players what they can do when they are given the chance of minutes on the court.
“I got to watch Killester’s loss to Eanna and I really don’t how they did end up losing because they turned in a very good performance.
“Killester have the same American back so they have a bit of continuity and seem to have recruited very well so we know it’s going to be a tough test — as it always is when we face Killester. We’ve been working very hard individually and collectively and hopefully we’ll start to really gel against Killester.
“There’s a long season ahead and it takes time to find a chemistry, but I’m very confident with the players we have that it won’t take long to get our rhythm.”