Belfast Telegraph

Proud boss Fulton makes a case for Star's defence

 

Stepping up: Liam Pettigrew has been impressing in the Belfast Star defence this season
Stepping up: Liam Pettigrew has been impressing in the Belfast Star defence this season
Adrian Fulton
David Kelly

By David Kelly

Belfast Star coach Adrian Fulton has hailed the new defensive qualities of his side and believes they are "a better team than last year".

Currently the stats do not back that up having won four and lost three in the All-Ireland Superleague but Fulton is convinced they have the quality to turn up the heat on the top sides, starting with tomorrow's away clash at DBS Eanna.

Eanna, the surprise package of the Superleague, are currently joint top with Tralee Warriors with a game in hand with Star lying fourth - three points behind the two front runners.

Fulton's men have yet to win on the road in the Superleague, having narrowly lost to Killester and Killorglin on the back of a defeat to champions Tralee.

Fulton, who has been very pleased with the efforts of Keelan Cairns and Liam Pettigrew in defence, believes his men have the class to defeat anyone on their day and is eager to see them build on the impressive win over Marian last weekend.

"Going into this season we were very keen to see our defence improve and the way Keelan and Liam have been operating together has been a big boost. They're two big men but also mobile and they have brought a dimension that we didn't have last year," said Fulton.

"If you can bring your defensive game to the court every night then you have a great chance. Sometimes the offence can be off but there's no excuse for not having your defence and we need to keep improving in that department.

"We may have lost three away games but to be honest our stats could easily have been six and one because we were a bit unlucky against Killester and the defeat to Killorglin came less than 24 hours after winning in the Cup - and we only lost by a basket.

"I believe that on our day we can beat anyone in the league. We're a better team than last year and we just need to go on a good run and gain some momentum so we can push the top guys.

"We know that Tralee are the clear favourites for the title, they're a great outfit and Eanna have recruited very well so they have made people sit up and take notice particularly after beating Tralee."

Fulton's men can expect a real test of their mettle and the explosiveness that new American Ben Marello has brought to the side.

"Eanna have two Americans and two Serbians so are very strong. They have a link to Dublin Business School and that has helped them to recruit strongly. Overall it's a very balanced league and it's going to be a tight race to the end," added Fulton.

"This game with Eanna is a big test and we're relishing it. We're not the finished article yet but we are confident about going and getting our first win on the road."

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