Killester crave more
11890 Killester open the defence of their Nivea For Men's SuperLeague crown away to Moycullen on Sunday but who will provide the stiffest challenge for the Dubliners this season?
Mark Keenan's side proved unstoppable last term, claiming the National Cup, Northern Conference and Men's SuperLeague. "Our aim for the coming season is to keep our rhythm and momentum going from last season and hopefully repeat our successes from last year," said Keenan.
"I have most of the same team back with a few new faces to add also. The hunger and appetite is still there for success."
Here is the lowdown on each team ahead of the 2010/11 Nivea For Men's SuperLeague season
Will be favourites to retain title based on performances in 2009/10 and an encouraging pre-season. Isaac and Aaron Westbrooks are back. Keith Anderson is missing from last year's squad due to college commitments but John Behan is back after exam leave and Kieran O'Brien returns following a two-year absence due to a knee injury.
Belfast Star made a huge impression last season finishing second in Northern Conference before being eliminated at the quarter-final stage. A lot will depend on their American signing, but they have an abundance of young talent.
Positive end to their regular season campaign last term saw DCU reach the play-offs before Killester proved too strong. Familiarity is key this time round with 10 of last year's 11 returning. Prodigy Eanna Rutherford joins from Swords.
First Game at 11890 Killester on Saturday, October 9, 8pm
Failure to reach the play-offs last season should act as spur. Have signaled their intent by signing 6'7" James Crowder, a recent graduate of Pfeiffer University's men's basketball program. Further boosted by the return of Barry Glover.
Failed to reach play-offs last season but head coach Deidre Brennan will be looking to new signings Ciaran McEvilly (Dublin) and Ben De La Cruz (USA) to help change that this campaign.
Bord Gáis Neptune
Expected to test challengers this season after impressing during last campaign under tutelage of Pat Price. Signings of US power forward Robinson Louisme and former Shamrock Hoops standout Phil Taylor should bolster claims.
Arrival of Mason Ambler outlines Moycullen's determination to repeat their impressive debut in top flight last season. A native of Atlanta, Ambler will replace Nathaniel Fritsch.
It's all change at Demons with Irish underage coach Paul Kelleher replacing Luke D'Alessio as head coach. A lot will depend on impact made by Marcus Van, UCC's recent acquisition from Central Michigan University. Youth set to play a part with Ciaran O'Sullivan recently impressing.
Expectancy levels will rise this season after being pipped to title by Killester. Mark Bernsen takes up coaching duties. Squad boosted by arrival of Cameron Mitchell from US, Ciaran White (ex-HOOPS) and Carlton Cuff (former UCC Demons).
OPENING WEEKEND FIXTURES
Nivea for Men's SuperLeague (Saturday, October 2)
UCD/Marian v UL Eagles (UCD Sports Centre, 7pm)
Neptune v Belfast Star (Neptune Stadium, 7pm)
Basketball Ireland Men's Division 1 (Saturday, October 2)
Titans v Portlaoise (Renmore CC, 7pm)
Ballina v Blue Demons (Ballina S&L Centre, 7.30pm)
St Brendan's v KUBS (Mercy Mounthawk Sec School, 7.45pm) Maree v Tolka, (Calasanctius College, Oranmore, 7.45pm)
Nivea for Men's SuperLeague (Sunday, October 3)
Moycullen v Killester (Kingfisher Club NUIG, 3pm)
UCC Demons v Ulster Elks (Mardyke Arena, 3.15pm).