Warriors Ready For Super League Battles As New Season Begins This Weekend

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Garvey’s Tralee Warriors squad members with Jim Garvey, Kevin McCarthy, Sandra Lynch and Amber Moriarty from sponsors Garvey’s with Club Chairman Terry O’Brien and Head Coach John Dowling at the launch of the Warriors 2020/2021 season. Photo by Dermot Crean

Alan Cantwell looks at the new Super League season for Garvey’s Tralee Warriors which tips off this weekend…

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors took a break from preparations for their opening game of the 2020/2021 Super League season this weekend to launch their campaign at their major sponsor Garvey’s Supervalu store in Tralee on Tuesday evening.

The Warriors will get their season underway when take on the Super League newcomers Tradehouse Central Ballincollig on Saturday afternoon at the Ballincollig Community School with tip off at 4.00pm.

The 2019 Super League champions have seen a number of changes both on and off the court since the sudden and dramatic conclusion to last season.

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The Warriors were denied back to back Super League titles having been sanctioned with a six point deduction in relation to the registration of import player Andre Berry that effectively handed the title to League rivals Belfast Star.

John Dowling has replaced Pat Price as Head Coach. Dowling served as Assistant Coach to both Price and Mark Bernsen and will be assisted by Gareth Moore who also served as Assistant Coach last season.

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors Head Coach John Dowling, Kevin McCarthy from Garvey’s, team captain Fergal O’Sullivan, Jim Garvey from Garvey’s and Cian O’Sullivan at the launch of the Warriors 2020/2021 season. Photo by Dermot Crean

On the court the Warriors have a new look squad with a number of recruits brought in to replace some significant names who will not be taking to the court this season.

Former captain Darren O’Sullivan, Ivan Bogdanovic, Darragh O’Hanlon and Patrick McCarthy have all stepped aside, Paul Dick has transferred to Belfast Star and young guns Daire Kennelly, Leroy Odiahi and Rap Buivydas have all moved Stateside to follow their hoop dreams in their respective colleges.

The Warriors coaching team have brought in four new signings with Americans Matthew Hart coming in as point guard and Matthew Ashley set to play at Number 2 or 3, Troy McIndoe from London, who has played in Spain and more recently with Reading Rockets, is set to provide some power and strength under the board and Cian O’Sullivan who returns to his home town of Tralee after a four year stint playing US college basketball.

A number of the U20 squad have stepped up to the senior ranks including Stephen Bowler, James Fernane, Keelan Crowe, Zygimantas Kalekta as well as twin brothers Aaron and Padraig Fleming.

They join Daniel Jokubaitis and the Warriors stalwarts of Kieran Donaghy, Eoin Quigley and team captain Fergal O’Sullivan to complete the Warriors roster for the campaign ahead.

The structure for the Super League shows significant changes with the twelve teams split into two Conferences – Northern and Southern.

The Northern Conference includes the Dublin teams; UCD Marian, Templeogue, DCU Saints, Pyrobel Killester, DBS Éanna along with Belfast Star.

The Southern Conference is made up of Garvey’s Tralee Warriors, Killorglin CYMS, Maree, Moycullen, Neptune BC and Tradehouse Central Ballincollig.

Teams within their respective Conferences will play their games home and away between the weekend of 17th/18th October and 16th/17th January 2021.

The final six games of the season will see teams playing Cross Conference one off games against each of the teams in the other Conference.

Those games will be played between the weekend of 30th/31st January to 6th/7th March.

The National Cup weekend dates are also factored into the schedule and Round 1 will be played on the weekend of 20th/21st November, the quarter-finals on 5th/6th December, the semi-finals on 9th/10th January and the final on the weekend of the 23rd/24th January 2021.

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors first home game of the season is set for Saturday night 24th October in the Tralee Sports Complex. In line with current restrictions the game will be played behind closed doors and is due to tip off at 7.30pm.

Details in relation to streaming of Garvey’s Tralee Warriors games will be outlined on the club’s social media platforms in the coming week.

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors Squad for 2020/2021

Fergal O’Sullivan (Capt.); Pádraig Fleming; Mathew Ashley; Matthew Hart; Steven Bowler; Daniel Jokubaitis; Keelan Crowe; Zygimantas Kaletka; Kieran Donaghy; Troy McIndoe; James Fernane; Cian O’Sullivan and Aaron Fleming.

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