The waiting is just about over for Paisley Pirates fans, who are on countdown to a weekend which sees them in action twice after almost six months of inactivity, an away match against North Ayr Wild on Saturday preceding their opening home fixture at Braehead Arena on Sunday evening (face off 6.00pm) against Kilmarnock Storm.
“It’ll be good to get back onto the ice in competitive action after such a long spell of inactivity,” said Head Coach Ian Turley. “There’s been a freshness in training over the last few weeks, as the makeup of the team has changed quite a bit, and it’s been great for Adam and me to work with these guys, but we now have to put our ideas into practice on the ice. Indeed, the whole setup has a new freshness to it all, with Adam Walker joining me to double the coaching capacity within the club, and it’s certainly given me a boost to have someone as knowledgeable and proficient as him working alongside me. The new squad is absolutely desperate to learn and it’s a big boost to the pair of us to have such an attentive pool of players.”
“We got a bit of a chance at the recent Supporters Club function to put across a few things to the fans who turned up, and the healthy attendance suggests that they are just as keen as us to see the team out on the ice, even if they don’t quite know all the new faces yet. All of the squad present at the night were presented with their new team jerseys, and with the changes in the squad Chris Turley takes over as Captain, Martyn Guy and Tom Johnston assisting as Alternate Captains.”
“We’ve two difficult games to start with against teams who’ve already been in competitive action, but it’s a situation we’ve been used to in recent years so again we’ll just get on with it. We’re at Auchenharvie Leisure Centre on Saturday, and the Wild will be keen to turn us over, seeing as apart from it being a local derby anyway we now have a number of former Wild players in our ranks, who’ll all be very keen to ensure they retain bragging rights over their former team mates. On the Sunday, we’re hoping for a big crowd at Braehead to welcome the team back onto home ice for the first time in 6 months, as we take on Kilmarnock Storm in another local derby. Storm have had a good start to the season and have already racked up a couple of wins, so they’ll be fancying their chances of coming into our place and keeping their good opening run going. Our first home match is also dedicated to the memory of two faithful supporters, Jess Donnelly and Jim Dinning, who both sadly passed away over the close season, so we have an extra special reason for doing well on the opening night. ”
“For our part, our fans have waited a long time to see us, and we’re hoping for two top notch performances to get our season underway, and show the newcomers in particular that they’ve come to a big club, where expectations are high every single time we have a fixture to fulfil, so round about 6pm on Sunday, we want the home fans to give every player in a Pirates’ jersey a very special welcome onto the ice!”