Paisley Pirates brought down the curtain on their season with their Presentation Night in the 5 on 5 Club, Paisley, at which time various awards were handed out to players and the club’s army of volunteers.
Coach Ian Turley, in his remarks, commented on the season just ended, paying tribute to an ever decreasing group of players for their attitude and commitment over an eventful season, when one more win would have taken the club into first place, rather than finish third on points behind Kirkcaldy and Edinburgh.
The club at one time had 27 players registered, but due to a nightmare season with regard to injuries and other personal commitments, that figure had been reduced to 17 by the time of the end of season playoffs, while at one stage the club had only two fit defenders available.
He noted with some pride that the club had improved considerably on the previous season with more goals scored, less goals conceded, and more points accrued in a league which was of a far higher standard than when he had taken over the coaching role five years earlier. Further, he paid tribute to retiring captain John Churchill after more than 25 years playing at senior level, quoting him as a great ambassador for the sport in general, and the Paisley Pirates in particular.
He revealed that the club had been keen to start up an under 20’s junior squad a year ago, both for its own sake and also to develop younger players locally, but the idea had had to be shelved due to there being insufficient suitable ice time available at Braehead for training and fixtures. In noting that there were now proposals to run a UK wide under 20’s league, and significant interest had been shown by a number of clubs at various levels, he said the club would be watching developments with considerable interest. The club had nevertheless continued to bring through young players who were now mainstays in the team, and he looked forward to continuing to do so in the seasons to come.
The club’s army of volunteers played a crucial role in allowing the Paisley Pirates to operate at a high standard, as without them many key functions on match nights and normal day to day tasks could not otherwise be fulfilled. He spoke of people with a great passion for their local ice hockey team, and who willingly gave up their own time, for no financial reward, just to be part of the organisation.
Finally, awards for volunteers and players were announced, with each member of the volunteers staff, and each member of the team, were given mementoes to mark their participation in a successful season for the club. The main awards were announced as follows:
Volunteer of the Year Al Goold
Most Improved Player Liam Riddell
Award for Attitude & Effort Tom Johnston
Difference Maker Scott Cowan
Players’ Player Martyn Guy
MVP Graham McCamley