The pre-season work is now underway as the Paisley Pirates prepare for the new SNL season which begins in September, with their first signings giving the squad a definite family feel to it all.

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“Yes, it’s a bit Team Turley at the minute, because while the players’ and officials’ registrations will go on for some time yet, as players return from holidays and sign up, so far we’ve only registered myself as player/coach, brother Chris, and Ian Senior as Team Manager, just to get the process under way. We’ll certainly register more guys in the forthcoming weeks, but it certainly reinforces what we’re always saying about the Pirates being a family club,” he joked.

He went on, “We’re talking to other players who’ve expressed a desire to come and play for the Scottish Cup holders, and we had a few people along at our first training session this week who weren’t in the squad last year, so I’m hopeful that we’ll have a competitive team put together by the time the serious stuff starts in about a month, with our usual mixture of returning players and a few new faces.”

“It’s going to be a very important year for the club on a number of fronts. We are of course hopeful that we can repeat our success in the Scottish Cup, maybe even improve on our runners-up spot in the league, and off the ice we’ve got a number of initiatives aimed at keeping the Pirates financially stable within an environment where there are pressures on us all the time. I know the Supporters Club have a couple of dates in the diary already, with a few of their committee taking part in the Renfrewshire Council 10k Run/3K Fun Run on 21 August, with the aim of raising funds through their JustGiving page, while they’ve got an early Social Night planned within the 5 on 5 Club on Friday 26 August, both with the intention of raising vital funds for their ice hockey team. It’s absolutely vital that fans get behind events like these to keep the flow of money coming, and we’ll be talking a bit more about that at the Fans’ Forum, again at the 5 on 5 Club (adjoining the ProLife Fitness Suite), this Wednesday, 10 August at 7.30pm. I think it will be a very informative meeting for those who turn out for it, so we’re hoping there there’s a large turnout so that a few things can be explained to supporters.”