Newly promoted Ballincollig admit it’s 50-50 whether homegrown ace Adrian O’Sullivan will return from the continent to front their inaugural Superleague campaign this season.
The Irish international (27) has spent the last two seasons at Reading in the British Superleague and last season Bramsche in Germany’s third tier but is tempted by the prospect of a debut Superleague season with Ballincollig.
Adrian’s brother and Ballincollig talisman Ciarán O’Sullivan admits the club has been in Adrian’s ear but admits that there are alternative options in the offing from Spain. “He’s had conversations with a couple of Spanish clubs, as late as this morning. Obviously, Adrian coming home would be a gamechanger for us, but realistically we would need to know the shape of our roster within the next month,” Ciaran said.
Ballincollig will join Cork rivals Neptune, Kerry’s Tralee Warriors and Killorglin plus Maree and Moycullen from Galway in basketball’s reconfigured Southern Conference this season. They will also be desperate to hang onto their over-performing American Andre Nation, who is attracting interest from Irish and European outfits after a couple of standout campaigns in Cork.
Basketball Ireland’s Men’s National Competitions Committee (NCC) has confirmed the conference slots for Super League and Division One Conferences, with four new sides also joining Division 1 next season. Defending Super League champions Belfast Star will be in the six-team North Conference, alongside five Dublin sides - Eanna, UCD Marian, Templeogue, Killester and DCU Saints.
There will be four new teams in Division 1. Killarney-based Team Kerry, Drogheda Wolves and Malahide, who enter the National League for the first time, while Titans return after a year’s absence.
The Division 1 South Conference will comprise of two Killarney clubs, St Pauls and Team Kerry, two Limerick sides – Limerick Celtics and UL Eagles, with Cork’s Fr Mathews, WIT Waterford, Portlaoise Panthers and IT Carlow completing the conference.
Three of the new teams will be in the eight-team Division 1 North Conference. Malahide, Titans and Drogheda Wolves will come up against Tolka Rovers, Dublin Lions, LYIT, Sligo All-Stars and Ulster University.
Said chair of the MNCC, Bernard O’Byrne: “We are delighted to welcome four new teams to Division One. All four clubs made impressive presentations to the MNCC at the weekend and we’re looking forward to seeing them in National League action.
“We have decided to reduce the entrance fees for Super League and Division One, as we recognise what clubs are going through financially.”
Fees for clubs compete in the Super League and Division One, will now be €250 for next season only. It has also been confirmed there will be no changes to the rules on overseas players, however each club must strictly apply the government’s Covid-19 regulations, when it comes to testing, isolation and all other guidelines. All National League players will be required to complete a Covid-19 Compliance Form before being deemed eligible to play by the MNCC.