Coach Ian Turley is getting closer to finalising his team for the new SNL ice hockey season after the third pre-season practice at the Galleon Ice Rink in Kilmarnock, with the team due to take to the ice competitively for the first time at Braehead Arena on Sunday, 11 September.
“Things are beginning to take shape as we get closer to the big face off,” he said. “More and more boys are returning from holiday as we look forward to the somewhat unique experience of starting our season at the same time as everyone else. In most other years, because of the demands for ice at Braehead, we’ve started at a disadvantage about a month behind everyone else, at least in terms of home ice, so we’re doing everything we can to ensure we hit the ground running, or should that be hit the ice skating?”
“I’ve taken a number of calls from players wanting to try out with us, and we’ve been happy to let them come along and see what they’ve got-it’s no secret that we’ve got a few slots to fill after 3 retirements in the close season, and while there’s a few guys who look as if they might be able to do a job for us, I want to have another look before I make any decisions. I only want players who want to play on the first line every week, and demonstrate the kind of attitude that brings success.”
“We don’t need to approach other players to see if they want to come to us, players know the very high standards we set on the ice, and the way we look after them off it, in return for which they get the chance to play for a very well organised club in an excellent venue most weeks, and that is always an attraction for players who want to be the very best and play for the very best. No-one is guaranteed a starting slot as it’s about attitude, commitment, turning up at training, and a whole lot of other aspects that go into making this club special, and not everyone is suited to that, so right now I’m going through a lot of things in my head about who I’ve seen so far and how they would fit into what the plan is for the coming season, and that includes the guys who were with us last year!”
“We’ve now re-signed Richard Thorp and Graeme Meechan who were important players for us last year, and while I expect to be signing more of that squad in the coming weeks I would fully expect there to be the usual mix of familiar faces and new ones when we get onto the ice for real in September.”