The new ice hockey season may seem to be months away to Paisley Pirates fans starved of their regular dose of action, but the good news is that the club is already working towards making it at least as successful as the one which ended in April with the club winning the Scottish Cup.

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“Yes, you don’t get much of a breather from it all when you’re running a club like the Pirates,” said coach Ian Turley. “We’re not long back from our family holiday in Florida, and we were promoting the club over there at NHL side Tampa Bay Lightning during the Stanley Cup playoffs. Now we’re home, the hard work is already underway to ensure that we don’t rest on our laurels and, if anything, we look to improve on last year.”

“The season will open a little earlier than usual for us at Braehead Arena, and we expect our opening matches to be taking place late September, which is a good month before we’d normally be underway. Subsequently, we’re having to pull forward our training schedule so that we’re ready to hit the ground running, or at least skating, so our practices will begin in August at Kilmarnock.”

He went on, “As always, we’re looking for the core of last year’s team to be back with us, but that’s not to say we’re not looking to improve the squad with a couple of additions. We won’t go poaching players from other sides, that’s not our style, but anyone interested in coming to a well organised, successful team like the Pirates can get in touch at if they want to be considered. We’ve lost goalie Gordon Langford and utility player Colin McMillan from last year, both having retired, so we’ll be looking to fill their berths, but like I say, anyone interested can get in touch with me and I’ll be happy to talk to them.”

He went on, “We’re also working very hard behind the scenes to attract sponsorship to the club, as just like any other we need money coming in from several directions to keep us competitive, as the costs of ice, equipment and transport to some far flung venues have to be met every year. We’ve put together several packages which, we believe, offer potential sponsors great returns for surprisingly little investment and, again, anyone interested should contact us via the above email address. We’re ordering new home and away jerseys very shortly and it would certainly be an opportune time for potential sponsors to be talking to us.”