paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates get their competitive season under way this Sunday (11 September) when they host local rivals Kilmarnock Storm at Braehead Arena in their opening Scottish National League fixture, having narrowly missed out on the league title last year to Kirkcaldy Kestrels.

paisley pirates

 

“We were a shade unlucky to lose out to the boys from Fife, with it going down to the last set of matches before they deservedly took the title,” said coach Ian Turley. “We had the massive consolation of lifting the Scottish Cup a few weeks later and, indeed, this Sunday will be the first opportunity for many of our fans to see the team in action since that evening back in April.”

“We’ve had the comparative luxury, for us at least, in getting in some proper pre-season practices at Kilmarnock, ironically enough, and the challenge match at NIHL Solway Sharks on Sunday allowed us to get in some competitive time on the ice under our belts before the serious stuff starts this weekend. We managed to introduce no fewer than SIX new players to the line up, and we gave both goalies solid ice time, and while the integration process will take a few games, that’s the show on the road-as far as challenge games go, I reckon that it was a success.”

He went on, “Our visitors had a tough time of it last year, but they’ve added a couple of former Pirates to their ranks now, so that will add more of an edge to the match. They’ll be out to prove a point against their former team mates, and we certainly don’t want to lose our opening match at home, particularly when it’s a local derby against a team which is only half an hour away from us.”

“In addition to having most of the usual faces from last season, we’ve added a number of hungry young players who’ve shown me that they’re ready and willing to display the kind of ability, enthusiasm and attitude I’m looking for every single game, and I’m still hopeful we might have another player in the ranks for opening night. I think we’ll continue to entertain the fans in the style they’ve become accustomed to seeing in recent seasons, so I’m hoping we’ll get a good turn out from supporters on Sunday (face off 6.00pm).

paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates fans, starved of seeing their favourite team in action for over four months, have been handed a pre-season boost with the news that the team will be in action a week before their official league campaign gets under way.

paisley pirates

Pirates will travel to Dumfries next Sunday, following an invitation from the Solway Sharks, to take on their Northern Ice Hockey League side in a pre-season challenge, a match which coach Ian Turley is already looking forward to.

“We’ve managed to get in some valuable training time at Kilmarnock over the last month, and this match will mean we are far better prepared for the start of the SNL season than usual, as in past years Braehead has been unavailable to us till October.  It’s a tough trip to go to play the NIHL Sharks, they play in a higher standard of league than we do, and will be icing a couple of imports, as their league permits a limited number of foreign players to be included in squads. However, we regard it as being a bit of a feather in our cap to be asked, as Solway made it clear they were looking for someone to give them a competitive match, so they asked us.”

He continued, “Solway normally do well in their league so it will give us an idea of where we are in terms of fitness and standard, albeit it’s the first match of the season and you don’t always get an accurate guide as to where you are at the beginning of another year. However, we’ll be doing as we always do, we’ll prepare for the game and go down there to give it our best shot. I’m looking forward to getting the chance of going in against a higher standard of opposition than we sometimes will face in the SNL, with no disrespect to anyone. I’ve always felt we could handle ourselves in a higher league and this will give us a chance to put that theory to the test.”

 

The match faces off at 5.30pm.

In their final competitions before the World Championships this Saturday the two Johnstone Pipe Bands headed for North Berwick at the weekend to see if they could continue this season’s fine form.  On a successful day for the bands, the Grade 4 Band won their competition with the Grade 2 band placing second in theirs and also placing fourth in the Grade 1 competition beating two of the top grade bands who will be competing at Glasgow Green this week. With the Worlds only days away, both bands will be hard at work all week to give themselves the best possible opportunity on the day when the Grade 2 band will be competing against 24 other bands from across the globe in their competition and the Grade 4 band facing a huge 66 other bands.

 the combined bands with the three trophies won on Saturday

the combined bands with the three trophies won on Saturday Pictures taken by John Shaw

Grade 2 Pipe Major Keith Bowes Jr commented, “The band had a great day out at the North Berwick Highland Games which was perfect preparation for the World Pipe Band Championships. The grade 2 band played three times, allowing us perfect some areas that needed improvement. The results also provided us with some great confidence that will undoubtedly have the heads well up going into the biggest and most important competition of the year. I have everything crossed that both bands will put in good accounts of themselves and I trust in the band that they will put everything they have into making those performances count.”

Grade 4 Pipe Major Keith Bowes Sr commented, “I was happy to get a good run a North Berwick and it allowed us to pick up on a few areas which we will be working on this week to ensure the band is in the right place to give the best possible account of themselves on Saturday.  It has been a great season so far with Scottish and European titles for the band and this is a huge opportunity for them to go for the big one.”

Johnstone Pipe Band are currently on the lookout for sponsorship to help enable them expand and progress the band and their educational activities, for further information please contact the band on 07751 500520.  Details on the band’s learner setup can also be found by calling the same number.

paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates fans have an opportunity to catch up on all the pre-season news at a specially convened Fans Forum, which will be held within the 5 on 5 Club in New Sneddon St, Paisley, next Wednesday (10 August) at 7.30pm.

paisley pirates

Coach Ian Turley explained, “There will be a number of changes to our normal operations which will take effect from the start of the new season, and we feel it’s crucial that we let fans know how they will be affected, and what they can do to help us as the full effects of these changes impact on the club. It’s very important that supporters of the Paisley Pirates make every effort to attend this meeting, as some of the effects of these changes are far reaching, so we want as many fans as possible to hear what they are, and, further, that they will hopefully indicate what they are willing and able to do to assist in that process, as, make no mistake, we’re relying very much on the backing of the supporters to ensure that there is a smooth transition from what we used to do, and what we’re going to be doing from now on.”

He went on, “We don’t want supporters to rely on others telling them what has been discussed at the meeting, to then decide what they want to do. It’s VERY important that they are there in person, so that they get their chance to input into the discussions, so we’re urging every supporter of the club to do whatever is necessary to get along to the 5 on 5 Club next Wednesday and hear first hand what these changes mean in the short and longer term. They will affect every single supporter, so there’s no point in relying on anyone else to interpret what will be discussed, it’s essential that fans show up in numbers and make their presence felt at that time.”

“We know we have the best supporters in the country, and this is one of those occasions when we’re relying on them to make good on that claim, so we hope we can be certain to welcome a very large turnout next Wednesday when all can be revealed, and fans will be able to take an active role in determining the llong-termroute that the club takes.”

The two Johnstone Pipe Bands travelled to Dumbarton at the weekend for the Scottish Championships.  On a highly successful day for the bands, the Grade 4 Band won their competition with the Grade 2 band placing third, this was a second major competition win for the 4s this season and one that was well deserved after two fine performances in the qualifying and the final.  The Grade 2 band placed third for the fourth time in four majors with the Police Service of Northern Ireland continuing their 100% record in the Grade 2 majors this season.  With the World Championships, on the 13th August, being the only major competition left this year. the Grade 2 band sit second in their Champion of Champions league table with the Grade 4’s proudly topping theirs.

Grade 4 Band celebrating after being crowned Scottish Champions Pictures  taken by John Shaw

Grade 4 Band celebrating after being crowned Scottish Champions
Pictures taken by John Shaw

Grade 2 Pipe Major Keith Bowes Jr commented, “I was delighted with both bands performances at the Scottish Championships. With practices and competitions now coming thick and fast, everything is now geared towards the World Pipe Band championships at Glasgow Green on 13th of this month. Preparations have been going well, so fingers crossed that both bands put in good accounts of themselves.”

Shows Pipe Major Keith Bowes Jr picking up the Grade 2 third place trophy.

Shows Pipe Major Keith Bowes Jr picking up the Grade 2 third place trophy.

Grade 4 Pipe Major Keith Bowes Sr commented, “We were all thrilled with the performance and delighted to see results coming good at the right time, we are now in first position in the champions of champions league table for our grade and looking forward to Saturday’s competition in North Berwick, and the following week, the Worlds, in Glasgow.”

Erica Gill (12) picking up the Grade 4b Championship Shield

Erica Gill (12) picking up the Grade 4b Championship Shield

Johnstone Pipe Band are currently on the lookout for sponsorship to help enable them expand and progress the band and their educational activities, for further information please contact the band on 07751 500520.  Details on the band’s learner setup can also be found by calling the same number.

The two Johnstone Pipe Bands travelled to Forres at the weekend for the European Championships.  On a day of high drama the Grade 4 Band won their competition with the Grade 2 band placing third, this was a first major competition win for the 4s and one that was richly deserved after some fine showings this season.

Grade 4 Band celebrating after being crowned European Champions

Grade 4 Band celebrating after being crowned European Champions. Photos by John Shaw

Grade 2 Pipe Major Keith Bowes Jr commented, “ As the Grade 2 Pipe Major, I was delighted with the association as a whole. Both bands displayed excellent performances and to get 3rd out of 18 bands in grade 2 was a good achievement. To top the day off, our grade 4 pipe band came out on top as European Champions. This shows the callibre of player that is coming through our feeder system, which will provide our big band with talented players in the years to come as they gain experience and continue developing in our grade 4 band.”

Pipe Majors Keith Bowes Sr & Jr with their respective trophies.

Pipe Majors Keith Bowes Sr & Jr with their respective trophies.

Grade 4 Pipe Major Keith Bowes Sr commented, “A 1st major win at the European Championships for the 4b band. The hard work and patience finally paying off. An enjoyable weekend away at the scenic Forres the band now looks forward to a few weeks off competing before returning to the competitive circuit on 23rd July in Paisley. Next event for the band is Sma Shot day in Paisley on sat 2nd July.”

Johnstone Pipe Band are currently on the lookout for sponsorship to help enable them expand and progress the band and their educational activities, for further information please contact the band on 07751 500520.  Details on the band’s learner setup can also be found by calling the same number.

paisley pirates

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.

paisley pirates

 

“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 paisleypirates@gmail.com 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.”

gene cernan

Captain Gene Cernan speaks to the audience at Paisley Arts Centre live from Houston, Texas after the showing of The Last Man on the Moon in the venue.

The questions are hosted by Astronaut Michael Foale and ISSET the evening is arranged by Paisley Community Trust.

https://www.facebook.com/paisleytrust/ Find out more about the town of Paisley by visiting our website http://www.paisley.org.uk
——
Join in the conversation on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/PaisleyScotland
——–
Or Keep up to date with our news and updates via Twitter @paisleyorguk

http://www.twitter.com/paisleyorguk

 

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall will recognise the success of a local ice hockey team with a civic reception on Friday night.

pirates

Paisley Pirates crowned their 70th anniversary celebrations with victory in the Scottish Cup final recently- a commanding 9-0 win over Edinburgh Capitals ensuring the Pirates took home the trophy.

The team will be rewarded with a special reception at the Glynhill Hotel in Renfrew where the Provost will say a few words of congratulations to celebrate both their victory and their 70 years in existence.

This is only the third time the Pirates have won the prestigious trophy since the club was re-formed in 1992.

The club were founded in 1946 but faced years in the wilderness before they were re-launched with the opening of a new ice rink.

Having faced difficulties while playing in the British National League, the Pirates rejoined the Scottish National League in 2002 where they continue to play today. 

The team were recently featured on the pint glass issued to all visitors at the ever popular Paisley Beer Festival to celebrate 70 years since their foundation.

Provost Hall said: “I’m delighted that the Paisley Pirates have become Scottish champions.

“It is terrific achievement to win a national trophy and it is only right that they are rewarded for this feat.

“Renfrewshire should be proud to have had them as a representative for the past 70 years and I wish them all the success in the defence of the trophy next season.”

To find out more about the Paisley Pirates visit:  www.paisleypirates.co.uk.

paisley pirates

It was strictly standing room only as the Paisley Pirates held their end of season Player of the Year awards night in Paisley’s 5 on 5 Club, with, of course, the Scottish Cup showing prominently on the presentation table after the Pirates won in record-breaking style only 2 weeks previously.

paisley pirates

In front of a huge turnout, Coach Ian Turley introduced a marathon session of award giving, during which the club introduced each volunteer in turn to receive a commemorative gift as a “thank you” for their help during the season, without which the operation of the club would have been extremely difficult, paying tribute to the army of fans who had given of their time freely to support the club and ensure that all the necessary elements involved in running an ice hockey match were completed throughout the season.

Supporters who had purchased game worn jerseys were presented with them by the player who had worn the strip during the season just ended, and each player received a small award for their services during a year which had seen the club narrowly miss out on the SNL title, finishing in the runners up slot, while in the end of season playoffs they lost agonisingly to the eventual winners, Aberdeen, only on penalty shots after a 2-2 draw, before claiming the Scottish Cup in emphatic fashion, defeating Edinburgh Capitals 9-0.

The coach then paid tribute to two retiring players, netminder Gordon Langford, who had debuted for the Pirates in their inaugural season at the Lagoon back in the 1992/93 season, and utility player Colin McMillan, who had represented the Pirates over a number of seasons both at Braehead and at the Lagoon, both players receiving mementos to mark their time with the club, and thanking everyone for a special time in their careers.

At the beginning of the main award ceremony, there was a moment of poignancy as those present remembered Jim Liddell, one of Pirates’ most fervent supporters, who had passed away two years previously, and whose name was now to feature on the Supporters Club Player of the Year, to be known as the Jim Liddell Trophy, the award on this occasion to being made by his son, Alan.

Thereafter, awards were announced as follows:

Supporters Club Player of the Year Mark Hassan
(for the Jim Liddell Trophy)

Most Improved Player Graeme Meechan

Outstanding Effort & Application Chris Turley

Players’ Player of the Year Graeme Meechan/Mark Hassan (joint award)

Difference Maker Stuart Miller

Most Valuable Player Mark Hassan