COACH “THRILLED” BY LEAGUE TITLE WIN
Paisley Pirates coach Ian Turley was “thrilled” with his team’s performance as they were crowned SNL champions after an eventual 6-0 win over Dundee Tigers on Tayside last Saturday.
He said, “In the first period it was evident that some of the players at least were suffering from nerves so when they came in at the first break at 0-0 we had a bit of a heart to heart, changed a couple of things, and I felt that from there on in we always had the game under control and we won well in the end in some style.”
“Since the end of the game we’ve been inundated by messages of congratulations not just from fans of the club and those closely associated with it, but also by other clubs and players, which is really nice, and it’s been great to hear from other teams and coaches in that vein. We’ve also been getting so many messages from people in the local area and it brings home to you what the Pirates mean to the local community, not just from those who maybe don’t get to many games, but who regard us as “their” team. We’ve been able to feel the sense of pride coming through in these messages and it really gives you a warm feeling. Everybody embraces what the club is all about, and I suppose at times like these it comes home to you that the Pirates aren’t purely an amateur ice hockey team, they really are part of the fabric of the area.”
He went on, “Winning the League is always the big one for me, not that we regard any of the other competitions as any less worthy of winning, it’s just when you win the league you have been the most consistent winners across a whole season, and not just maybe a few games. It shows a depth within the whole club, not only the players, but the management, the coaches, the fans, and like I say, folk within the local community who have bought into what the Paisley Pirates are all about and thus share in any success that we achieve, and the pride which follows. The boys will enjoy the fruits of their success over the next couple of days, but then it’s back to the serious business again, as we have an away tie at Kilmarnock in the first leg of our Scottish Cup semifinal on Saturday (face off 7.00pm). Whereas we may have already won the league, it doesn’t diminish our desire to retain the Scottish Cup as holders, so we’ll be approaching the game in exactly the same way as we’ve done for the League campaign this year, one game at a time, prepare thoroughly for the tie, and let the preparation show through on match night.”
“We’re already being asked about the playoff finals and how we feel about them and again the answer is the same-when they come round, and remembering we still have to win a qualifying round to even get there, it’ll be the “one game at a time” approach-we’ve never won that competition, so that will of course be our target, just as it will be for the other seven teams taking part in it, and there’s a lot of very good ones in there, all of them looking to beat the league champions!”
“This league win is my own personal favourite, as, like I say, that’s about performance over a whole season, rather than a few games. While we won the competition four years ago, I feel the standard of competition and games has risen every year, so it’s especially pleasing to win a very tight league with little more than a point or two separating the top teams. There remains a whole lot to play for this season, though, so it’s back to work come training, and hopefully we can continue to bring pride to everyone who feels part of this club!”