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 …

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Paisley Pirates’ fans have the opportunity to catch up with all the latest news about their team this Saturday (30 September), when the Supporters Club stages a Race Night and Question and Answer session within Priorscroft Bowling Club, Paisley, with doors opening at 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start.

paisley pirates

“It’s going to be the first chance for fans of the club to find out about, and maybe even meet, some of the new signings made for the up and coming season, which is now only a fortnight away,” said Supporters Club Chairwoman Marie Cadenhead. “It’s been a a long close season, so everyone’s looking forward not just to the Race Night, which will be along traditional lines, but also the Question & Answer session, with coaches Ian Turley and Adam Walker taking questions from the floor about everything and anything. I’m anticipating the formation of this year’s team will be of particular interest to those attending, so all in all supporters will be getting a lot for their £3 admission fee.”

“We’re also intending to hold an auction at some stage during the night, with a couple of very valuable items on the table. We’d like to thank Morrisons from Lonend and Falside Rd, Arnold Clark Hillington, Chives Regal, Rangers Football Club, and Drennan’s Deli, all of whom have contributed substantially to the prizes and/or aution items which will be available on the night. There will also be a “Play Your Card Right” section during the evening so I don’t think anyone will be able to complain that they’re not getting excellent value for their £3, which can be paid at the door on the night.”

“We’ve had loads of support already, to the extent that we’re likely to have at least a couple of races “double booked”, so to speak, and just to add a Pirates’ theme to the races they’re going to be called after former coaches or people who have run the club over the years, so folk will see the likes of a “Doug Marsden Chase” and an “Allan Maxwell Handicap” during the night.

“It’s obviously before the start of the playing season for us but the task of fund raising is a 52 weeks of the year job, so we’re starting as early for the new campaign as we can. We’re hoping we get good support from fans and players alike as, let’s face it, all the money raised goes towards keeping our favourite ice hockey team on the ice. We’re also hoping our new team will do the business on the ice this year, so it’s up to us, the supporters, to do the same off the ice. We know it takes an awful lot of money to keep an ice hockey team afloat so the work in raising that cash starts now!”

paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates are back on the ice after enjoying a long summer break, following their SNL Championship success which saw them lift the League trophy away back in February.

paisley pirates

“Yes, it seems an awful long time ago since we celebrated winning that particular trophy,” commented coach Ian Turley, “but that’s maybe not such a bad thing, as while we will be defending league champions that will count for nothing this season, apart from maybe encouraging opponents to try and down us. It’s time to forget about what we did and concentrate on what we need to be doing this season.”

“We had a good trial come training session last week which let us look at a few guys as well as those who were with last year, and there’s still time for anyone wanting to try out for us as we’ve got another session tomorrow (Tuesday) and on Friday, all potential players need to do is let us know that they want to come along.”

He continued, “We’ve also had a few foreign players in contact with us looking to try out so we’ll see what happens on that front over the next wee while, if any of them follow up their initial enquiries. Like I say, there’s still time for potential new signings to come to a trial/practice and let us see what they’ve got, but I wouldn’t want them to be waiting too much longer before getting on the ice.”

“We’ve also made an important off-ice appointment by bringing on board one of our main sponsors, Steven Gardner from Cold Blooded Sports, as Equipment Manager and he’ll be on the bench with us on match nights. It’s important to have someone in that position who is an expert in his field and in that context we couldn’t have anyone better than Steven, who as a recreational hockey player and someone who retails equipment as his real job, certainly ticks all the boxes in that respect. We’re delighted to have him with us and it’s just one more illustration of the fact that while the Paisley Pirates might be an amateur club, anyone coming to play with us will be joining one of the most professional organisations around.”

paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates are gearing up for a successful defence of their SNL title and are inviting players and volunteers to come forward and join the organisation.

paisley pirates

Coach Ian Turley said, “I’m really looking forward to the start of training in a few weeks, on 22 August, as this won’t only give our new member of the coaching set up, Adam Walker, the opportunity to get to know the players, it’ll also give us the chance to look at the guys who played for us before, and, hopefully, there will be a few players from around the ice rinks wanting to come along and impress us enough to be offered a team slot. It’s a very critical period for us as we’d like to get a lot of hard work and preparation under our belts before the serious stuff starts.”

“It’s always nice to get a few new faces in as it freshens up the dressing room a bit, and it showed last season when we got young players like Dean Hamilton and Euan McLaughlin to join up with us. The enthusiasm of the youngsters always rubs off on the more established players so I’m hoping that the early practices will throw up at least a couple of new faces able to join the ranks and make a difference. The standard of the SNL has risen markedly in the seven years I’ve been involved with the Pirates and there’s no reason to suggest the new season will be anything different in that respect.”

He continued, “We’re also looking to expand our army of off-ice volunteers to do the million and one jobs which need to be done on match nights. We’re proud of the fact that we’re regarded as a well run organisation and there’s good reasons for that-we work very hard at being the best we can be, and we have a lot of folk helping us too! Like I say, we’re wanting to further increase our volunteer numbers as there’s a lot of unseen jobs go into putting on a professional show.”

“The message is the same for anyone wanting to join our on-ice team, or our off-ice squad. Get in touch with us at and we’ll get back to you with all the details you need to become one of the Pirates’ family. It really couldn’t be simpler and we’ll look forward to hearing from you!”

Paisley Pirates have announced a major coup with the signing of former Manchester Phoenix and Braehead Clan forward Adam Walker, who will join the re-jigged coaching set up within the current SNL champions.

Ian Turley commented, “I’m absolutely delighted to have landed Adam, who will primarily function as a coach within the club, although he will be registered as a player so that, if circumstances dictate, he can add his considerable playing ability to our bench. Adam’s skills behind the bench are already well known to Pirates’ fans, as he coached the Dundee Comets to a double success last year in the finals of the league playoffs and Scottish Cup, ironically against us on both occasions, so our new coaching team can boast that between them their clubs picked up the major honours in the SNL last season.”

He went on, “I don’t see the arrival of Adam as a sign of me bringing in an assistant, I regard it as a partnership of equals, although the buck stops with me with regard to any coaching issues in the final analysis. He will make a huge difference to us on the coaching front as, on a very simplistic level, he can be taking players at one end of the ice to work on a particular aspect of playing, while I can be working at the other end on something else. He’s got so much more than that, however, as his wealth of experience in playing for teams at the top level can only be a good thing for the club in general and the players in particular.”

“I’ve felt for some time that we needed to enhance the coaching set up within the club, and Adam is a perfect fit for where I see the club going. We already share a number of philosophies and ideas on coaching, but I felt I needed someone who will from time to time make me think differently, maybe even challenge my ideas, and I’m entirely happy that Adam will bring that element to the club.”

Walker said, “I’m really chuffed to be getting the chance to join one of Scotland’s top clubs, so much so that I’m certain I’ll learn a lot just by being part of it. The regular commute to Dundee was just getting too much to contemplate continuing, much as I really enjoyed being with a great squad of players, and I could hardly believe my luck when the chance came up to join a club pretty much on my doorstep. To be invited to become part of the set up is, for me, a very great honour as it has always been, in recent times certainly, a very well run club and, of course, it has a heritage going back 70 years. Pirates have a very professional outlook as to how they go about their business and Ian comes across very strongly as a guy who wants to improve every single time the team is on the ice and that’s a philosophy I share. Ian is a very fine coach in his own right and I think it can only be a matter of time before that is recognised at international level.”

“From what I saw of them last year, the players work very hard, and that ethic will always bring results. The club has a substantial core of very good players already, so we have a very solid base to work from and I’m really looking forward to making a contribution to the continuous improvement of the squad. I genuinely feel that the match of Ian and myself as a coaching team will help make that happen.”

Turley continued, “From a player’s perspective, we’re hoping too that Adam’s signing will make this year’s squad members look at themselves and realise that when you play for the Pirates you should constantly be re-evaluating your contribution and commitment to the cause, and bringing in someone who will change the group dynamic for the better will help achieve that aim. The slate has been wiped clean in the sense that those who played for us last season and, indeed, maybe in previous years shouldn’t necessarily expect to be automatically offered the chance to play for one of the top teams in the league-they’ll have to earn their spot!”

“We have 22 places to fill on the roster and we will be looking for every one of them to be filled by guys wanting to play on the first line every week, rather than just occupy a spot. We’re also looking for players to be coming to us having already achieved a good level of fitness, rather than working up to it once the season actually commences. It will hopefully send out a message that regardless of what you have done in the past, and remember, we’ve just won the league, you always need to be looking to improve, and that’s one of the messages that Adam’s signing should send out.”

“It’s very important to the club that we can continue to persuade young developing players to come to the Pirates, and we think our first signing is very much a declaration of intent, namely, that young guys coming to us wanting to improve their skills, and be the very best they can be, will get every chance to do so.”

Preparations are well under way for the staging of a very special ice hockey match at Ayr Ice Rink on Sunday 18 June at 3.00pm, when two teams will go head to head in Millie’s Miracle Ice Hockey Match Round 2. All money raised from the event will go towards the cost of buying a heated twin cot for the Neonatal Unit of Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock, whose 24/7 care helped save the life of Millie Andreucci, who weighed less than a bag of sugar when she was born there just over a year ago.

“The match is my way of saying “Thank you” to the hospital for saving my daughter’s life at that time,” explains dad Ross, who starred for title winning Paisley Pirates before moving to Kilmarnock Storm two seasons ago. “For the first few months of her life she was kept in Crosshouse Hospital and, for a short time, Yorkhill Hospital where the round the clock care she was given kept her alive, and today she is now able to come off oxygen for several hours a day, which might not sound a lot, but it’s a huge step forward for her. Last year I organised a match and the proceeds of over £5,000 were split between the two hospitals, but this match will see the profits go towards the purchase of a heated twin cot for Crosshouse Hospital which, I understand, will help the recovery of very young and unwell babies who come to the Neonatal Unit.”

He went on, “I’ve managed to round up almost forty players who perform at various levels in the sport and they will take part in this special match on 18 June. As it’s in the off season, I’m hopeful that a lot of hockey-starved fans might take the opportunity of coming to Ayr Ice Rink, getting a fix of their favourite sport, and contributing to the best of causes all at the same time. There will be a few other attractions on the day as well, such as home baking, raffles and the like, so I’m hoping that folk will turn out in numbers to support the event. We’ve also got a special souvenir programme which spectators will be able to buy. There’s a huge number of volunteers who’ve come forward to offer their services for nothing, not just the players, but those folk who will man the stalls, take on the jobs which need done for an ice hockey match to take place, and it really has been one almighty effort by all concerned to make this happen. It would be the very best Father’s Day present I could wish for if we could raise enough money to make the cot a reality.”

“The best way of saying “thank you” to all the participants is to invite as many people as possible to come along and support the game, and I’m hoping at the end of the day we will have enough money raised to buy Crosshouse Hospital its much needed heated twin cot. By turning up at Ayr Ice Rink, Limekilns Rd, Ayr shortly before 3.00pm on Sunday, 18 June, everyone can make that objective the more likely!”

paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates recently held their end of season Player of the Year Presentation Night, at which time volunteers and players alike received their awards for their efforts over the course of the club’s most successful season to date.

paisley pirates

In a year which had seen the club become Scottish National League champions for only the second time, and where they had been voted Team of the Year in a local poll, and a season which had seen club secretary Jackie Turley awarded the Lord Provost’s Trophy for Sporting Achievement, coach Ian Turley paid tribute to everyone who had contributed to a huge effort on and off the ice, from the players whose on-ice efforts had led to them clinching the league title in February with a 6-0 win in Dundee, to the army of volunteers and supporters who had helped make the Pirates one of the strongest clubs in Scottish ice hockey.

After each of the players had received a memento to mark their season with the club, and volunteers had similarly received a small souvenir to acknowledge their help, the following awards were announced:

Volunteer of the Year – Robert Smith (no image)

Most Improved Player of the Year – Euan McGlaughlan 

 Award for Effort and Aptitude – Martyn Guy 

 Difference Maker – Graeme Meechan 

 Players’ Player of the Year – Chris Turley/Chris Wilson 

 Supporters Club Player of the Year – Martyn Guy (receiving the Jim Liddell Trophy)

Most Valuable Player – David Orr 

paisley pirates

Following the end of their most successful campaign to date, Paisley Pirates have paid tribute to the many individuals and groups who have contributed to that success by thanking them for the part they have played in making season 2016/17 so memorable.

paisley pirates

Coach Ian Turley said, “There are an awful lot of people we need to say a very big ‘Thank You’ to, as without them we simply couldn’t ice a team. We have a squad of 20 players, and I can only say how much it has been a privilege and pleasure to work with them. The bit that people see is the players performing on the ice, the bit they don’t see is the late night training sessions and full commitment away from their families for 8 months of the year. They don’t get paid for playing, nor do they get any help with their kit or travelling costs to and from games either at home or away, and all of that takes a lot of commitment and I’ve got only the highest regard for the guys who were prepared to do that week in, week out, for the club.”

He went on, “All of the SNL teams have made various efforts to raise the standard of our league, which is clear for everyone to see, given that there was very little room for error during games throughout the season.”

“We have a mass of volunteers, who do all the match night jobs willingly to contribute to the club, and once again, without them, we couldn’t put a show on-from the people on the gate, the folk who do all the presentation stuff round the other side of the arena, and all the others who don’t really see as much of the game as they would maybe like but do their job willingly to help the Pirates, all of them have my utmost admiration for doing it to help their club, and I want them to know just how much it is appreciated.”

“Our supporters also deserve a huge thanks for getting behind the team in the way that they do. There’s no better feeling than coming out of the dressing room at Braehead Arena and hearing the fans cheering when we hit the ice, and away from home the noise they create makes us feel so much better, knowing that so many folk have given up their time and probably spent quite a bit of money to get to the game, and that is hugely appreciated. I know of one instance this year when we were playing at Dundee on a Sunday night and some fans travelled through; by public transport just to watch us play, which is quite humbling to think that a family would do that, effectively give up most of their Sunday, and probably a wee bit of their Monday morning too, just to cheer us on 100 miles from home-that’s dedication, and it’s not at all untypical with regard to what our fans will do to support the team.”

“I also have to thank the sponsors who gave us much needed support over the course of the season in various ways. Renfrewshire Sports Charity at ProLife Fitness Centre who provided the team with a top class training facility, none more when we lost ice at Braehead. Cold Blooded Sports who in spite of their own trauma when their premises went on fire, were still able to supply us with goods and services. I also want to thank our other sponsors, like Al Goold Photos, MWS and SK Cutting Edge, all of whom provided us with much valued support in various ways, and, of course, Renfrewshire Council, who have provided ongoing support through its Local Area Committees.”

“Finally, I want to say a word about our management team. We’re a very well run organisation. Jackie and her team put in a power of work behind the scenes and put in more hours in the week on behalf of the Pirates than they do in a full time job! Running the Pirates is a 24/7 commitment, you don’t get days off very often, and it is so much easier being the coach at this club when you know that all the million and one other jobs connected with the running of the organisation are all being dealt with. You could say that we are a big club in every sense of the word, with an organisation and history that many other teams would love to have, and that’s down to Jackie and her team making it that way.”

“We look forward to seeing you on Saturday 13th May at our end of season awards night.”

paisley pirates

Pirates finished their season on a disappointing note as they relinquished the Scottish Cup to Dundee Comets, a hat trick from David Orr not being enough to prevent the league champions from going down to the Tayside outfit.

The Paisley side were hit by an opening blitz which saw the Comets hit two goals in twenty seconds in the fourth minute through Inglis and Hamilton and Gold, and while Orr’s goal did pull the score back to 2-1 after six minutes, Comets had their two goal cushion back in just over 60 seconds as Gold beat Meechan for a third time with under eight minutes on the clock, at which juncture Hepburn took over in the Paisley goal. However, he, too, was beaten in the 14th minute by a shot from Smith and the Comets went into the first break holding an already comfortable lead at 4-1.

Pirates needed an early goal in the second period to claw themselves back into the game, but it came at the wrong end as Dolan netted within a minute to give the Comets a four goal cushion with almost two full periods remaining. The champions did produce some fighting spirit and pulled back two goals from Orr, the third thus completing his hat trick, by the 37th minute to give a hint of daylight at 5-3, but Gordon shut the door again a minute later to take the score to 6-3 at the second break.

With Paisley looking down the barrel of a shotgun they pulled themselves back within two goals again after 45 minutes when Campbell beat Michie for 6-4, but once more the Comets slammed the door shut with a further two goals from Dolan and Whitelaw to end any lingering hopes of a last gasp fightback, and while Miller netted for 8-5 with just under two minutes to go, Comets had the final word with Gold scoring within thirty seconds to finish the scoring, sending Pirates home empty handed for the second time in a fortnight.