Gael Hulsen is targeting a first win with the Mersey Tigers as they look to avoid an unwanted record in completing a season without victory.
The 22 year-old admits being in a ‘really difficult’ situation but is refusing to let the run of defeats get him down and is determined to lead his side to success.
“I can’t let my head down and stop working (just) because we lose! I give my best everyday at the gym and on the basketball court to help my team as much as I can,” Hulsen declared.
Two seasons ago, the Tigers were led to three trophies by Tony Garbelotto but are now a shadow of that treble winning side as they are rooted to the bottom of the league with a 0-24 record. However, Hulsen is confident Mersey are not too far away from getting a win under their belts although they lack consistency.
“We are a young side but we don’t need too many more things to get a win. We have many good sequences but many bad too and we need to play at a high level from the first second ’til the last,” added the under-23 Belgian international.
In his first season outside of his native Belgium, Hulsen has been impressed by the standard of the BBL insitsting it’s a ‘pleasure to play in a competitive league with many great players’. Having had limited roles with previous teams, Hulsen has taken on a lot of responsibility with the Tigers and was able to make an immediate impact on Merseyside following a warm welcome:
“When I arrived in Liverpool, I was immediately relaxed because the people were really nice and helpful.”
A 22 point display in his first game against Cheshire was a promising start to life in England as the Belgian was able to settle in quickly. Since his impressive debut, Hulsen has been a consistent threat for the Tigers and feels that this has made him a target that opponents look to contain.
“I think I’ve made good performances during this season but sometimes it’s difficult to score because I’m one of the threats on the team,” said Hulsen.
“The other coaches prepare their game to try and stop the different threats of the team.”
The versatile swingman repeated his 22 point feat against Glasgow Rocks in December when he recorded a season-best mark of 4-7 from 3-point range. Hulsen has scored 270 points in 23 league appearances so far at an average of 11.7 points per game whilst providing his team-mates with 3.3 assists per game.
Once the season finishes Hulsen is hoping to play during the summer and has cited Australia and New Zealand as possible destinations. As for next season, the youngster is undecided as it stands as to whether he will re-join the Tigers but says that coach Tony Walsh has been in contact about his future.
“I don’t know yet, we’ve talked with the coach and he’s ready to work another season with me but maybe another proposition will arrive and I will take the most interesting,” Hulsen admitted.
In recent weeks, Nathan Schall and Phil Wait have been snapped up from BBL opposition in order to add some experience to a youthful squad. Mersey‘s quest for a first win doesn’t get any easier next week as they take on the defending champions Newcastle Eagles at the Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park on Friday.
You can follow Gael Hulsen on Twitter: @HulsenGael