Belfast Telegraph

Slick Girts as good as former Star ace Fulton: O'Neill

 

By David Kelly

Darren O'Neill believes he has found the best point guard to don a Belfast Star shirt since the great Adrian Fulton. Tomorrow night (7pm) at Methodist College, Star's supporters will have the chance to judge for themselves just how good Girts Clem is when the Belfast men have their first home game of the new All-Ireland Superleague season.

Star go into their Tayto-sponsored game with Maree on the back of an emphatic away victory against Kubs last weekend and coach O'Neill is expecting a tougher examination of their talent tomorrow night.

Latvian Clem was one of the outstanding performers for Star, who have brought in many fresh faces this season, including American Ryan Oliver and the return of the Quinn twins, Conor and Aidan. Both Quinns can play the point when required but O'Neill believes that Clem is the natural fit for a key role that former Irish captain Fulton played so well, driving Star to back-to-back Superleague titles in the 1990s.

"I would say that Girts is the best point guard the club has had since Adrian Fulton. He's right up there with Adrian," said O'Neill.

"He's very, very fast and a very smart player and it is a real boost for us to have a natural point guard. It was a priority for me to get such a player because Star haven't had one in a while. We've had guys who have stepped in and done a job but often that has held them back from playing their natural game."

Should Star make it back-to-back league victories, it will be their best start to a season for some time and O'Neill is hoping his new boys will have gelled even more, while he also expects to have new American Garrett Galvin on the bench.

"We've made a good start but we're expecting harder tests. The good thing about the win over Kubs was that when I made my substitutions there was no drop in our level," added O'Neill.

In Division One, Ulster Elks have a double-header away to Donegal tomorrow and then at home to the Dublin Lions on Sunday.

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