Paisley pirates

Following their successful progression to the semi final of the Autumn Cup after beating Kilmarnock Storm twice in successive weekends, Paisley Pirates are on the road this Sunday as they travel the roads and miles to Dundee to take on the local Tigers in their first League match of the season.

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“It’ll be a tough trip facing up to the Tigers, it always is,” said coach Ian Turley as he looked forward to the match. “They’re a very good team in their own rink, and they’ll be smarting severely at losing to a last second goal at Dumfries at the weekend, so I expect them to be well up for the match as they try to get their first points on the board. We’ll be minus a couple of players who are on holiday, but we’ll still be heading for Tayside looking to beat them with the squad we’ve got.”

 

“We’ve got a very good group of players to take through, so having seen them score thirteen goals in two legs at Kilmarnock, I’m hoping that the wide open spaces of Dundee, a rink more of the size we’re used to at Braehead, will suit us better and give our guys a chance to show off their undoubted talents and get us off to a good start. The league looks like being even closer than it was last year, with a lot of very good teams competing for the top spots, so it’s important that we play to our capabilities as, if we do, I’m confident that we’re a match for anybody.”

 

The club is also continuing to be very active off the ice, with two of its stalwarts taking part in the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run on 4 October for different charities.

 

Utility player and long time Pirate Colin McMillan is running to raise money and enhance the profile of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, while Club Treasurer Stacey Kerr is making her debut in the 10k section of the race.

 

McMillan commented, “I’ve got two very close friends who have the condition, so I’m keen to raise money for, and awareness of, the Society as every penny raised for research brings them a step closer to finding a cure for it, so I’m hoping that friends, relatives and maybe even ice hockey fans of any persuasion will give to a very worthwhile cause through my Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/colboymac.

 

Stacey added, “This is my first time running for charity as I’ve never run this distance before. CardiomyopathyUK is a charity which is very close to me, as sufferers have a heart condition which already runs in my family, so there’s a very personal reason for me wanting to raise money to help it continue research into it in the hope of eventually finding a cure. Like Colin, I’ve got a Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/Stacey-Kerr2, and I’ll be very grateful to accept donations to it as people will be helping a very genuine cause.”

Doors Open Day 01

Thousands of residents from Renfrewshire and beyond were getting into buildings at the weekend during the area’s annual Doors Open Days.

Saturday and Sunday saw more than 60 venues across Renfrewshire throw open their doors to give people a look inside.

Doors Open Day 01

Buildings old and new took part, from historic gems such as Paisley Abbey through to recent additions such as Johnstone Town Hall.

This year, highlights included the first-anniversary party for the re-opening of the ornate 19th-century Grand Fountain in Paisley’s Fountain Gardens, which was restored to its former glory last year.

Elsewhere, visitors could travel in style with a limousine tour of local landmarks led by Paisley firm JW Goudie.

And there was also the chance to drop in on a live archaeological dig at the Great Drain outside Paisley Abbey, run by Renfrewshire Local History Forum.

Doors Open Day 18

The Doors Open Day event was organised by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with the Scottish Civic Trust, which runs the national event.

The council produced a special kids’ programme allowing youngsters to collect stamps at each venue visited, with prizes for those getting five or more.

They also had the chance to meet event mascots – Culture Vultures Victor and Vera, named in honour of Paisley’s upcoming bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall was out and about over the weekend and said: “Once again, Renfrewshire Doors Open Day was a well-attended event.

“Sometimes it’s easy to walk past buildings without stopping to appreciate the quality of what we have here on our doorsteps.

“But the great thing about Doors Open Day is that it encourages people to be tourists in their own towns and appreciate our outstanding built heritage.

“Here in Renfrewshire we are fortunate to have some great buildings, from our collection of churches right up to new additions such as Johnstone Town Hall, which was taking part in its first Doors Open Day this year.”

For more information on local events, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events

Paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates go into the second leg of their Autumn Cup quarter final looking to clinch a place in the last 4 by overcoming the challenge of Kilmarnock Storm, and carrying a 3 goal lead into the tie, having defeated the home side 5-2, also in the Ayrshire rink, last weekend.

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“Yes, I’m happy that we’re carrying an advantage into the second leg,” said coach Ian Turley, “although no one in our camp is thinking the tie is anything like over. Kilmarnock played very well last weekend, and will be thinking, particularly if they get the first goal, that they’ve still got a chance of making the semi final. It was a pretty tight affair then, and I don’t suppose this Saturday (face off 7.00pm) will be any different. We’ll need to be on our toes, and we should be a wee bit sharper too, now that we’ve got a competitive match under our belts.”

 

“The new boys coming into the team for the first time integrated well, and we also had a number of players returning after a spell elsewhere, or who’d had a time out for various reasons, such as personal circumstances or long term injury, so it was good to get everyone back on the ice and making a contribution in front of a large travelling support who had been waiting all summer to see the team in action again.”

 

“We managed to try out a few things in a match situation, as you can never be quite sure who will play better with whom, but I’ve got a better idea now that I’ve actually seen the lines play in an actual match. The Kilmarnock rink is a lot tighter than the wide open spaces we have at Braehead Arena, which is unavailable to us for another month yet, so there’s a lot of elements to be factored into our preparation and, like I say, we’ll need to watch our step if we’re to progress to the semifinals against the cup holders, the Edinburgh Capitals, another tough prospect, but first we’ve got to blow out the Storm!”

Paisley pirates

 

Paisley Pirates’ coach Ian Turley has continued the rebuilding of his squad for the new season of Scottish National League ice hockey by announcing a further four signings to bolster an already impressive looking roster.

 

Returning from last year’s side are Graham McCamley, David Orr, and netminder Gordon Langford, while teenage forward Dylan Robertson has also joined the club from North Ayrshire Wild.

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“Yes,” I’m well pleased with the way the squad is coming together,” commented Turley. “McCamley and Orr are well noted for their firepower up front, while Langford had a very good season for us last year, one which we anticipate him repeating in the coming months, as he and Graeme Meechan share the duties between the pipes. I’m also very excited about young Dylan coming to the club. He, like a few young players, have been told by various people that the Pirates will always give good young talent a chance to develop, and he asked me about coming to join the squad. He’s only just turned 17, and it’s very important to us to continue to attract good young players to the squad, as they’re the future for teams such as ourselves. He’ll continue to make big strides with the Pirates, and he’s already been looking good in training, so he goes straight into the lineup for the first leg of our Autumn Cup quarter final at Kilmarnock Storm on Saturday 5 September (face off 7.00pm). Because of North Ayr’s withdrawal from the competition, it’s now a straight knock out over two legs at Kilmarnock, with the second leg also taking place at the Galleon Centre a week later.2

 

“While like I say I’m happy with the squad now in place, I expect to sign at least a couple more players before our first match, a few have been unavailable at training for various reasons of work and the like, which happens at this level, but I really can’t wait for the new season to get under way on the 5th. It’s been a long summer, but the waiting is nearly over!”

 

The newly re-formed Paisley Pirates Supporters Club is also looking forward to its first official “fixture”, as on Friday 18 September it’s running a Fundraising Night at the 5 on 5 Club, part of the Prolife Fitness Suite Complex, in Paisley. “We’ve now got no match that weekend,” explained chairman Bill Elliot, “so it seemed a good opportunity to run a social event which gets everyone together, although I know there will be a big turnout of Pirates supporters for the Autumn Cup matches on the two preceding weekends.”

 

“The format for the evening will be to formally launch the Supporters Club and tell supporters about some of the plans to raise money and generally support the team in the coming months. Apart from there being a few fundraising elements which were very popular at a previous social evening, which had a quiz and a few games of bingo amongst other features, folk will have a chance to actually join the club, and maybe enlist in a monthly draw which will help raise vital funds for the Pirates. We’ll also be auctioning off one of club icon Chris Conaboy’s shirts, and we’re taking bids for it as of NOW! There will also be a Meet the Players element to the night, where the members of this year’s squad will be formally introduced to supporters, so all in all we think it’s excellent value for the £3 admission fee that will be charged at the door on the night. After 6 months of a starvation diet with no ice hockey, it’s time to get the show on the road and with two matches and a social night to look forward to in the next few weeks, the wheels are very definitely in motion!”

Paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates have begun the task of building a side capable of challenging for honours in the forthcoming ice hockey season, by re-signing a number of players who represented the club last year, bringing back a couple of players known to the club’s fans, and capturing a star young player from a neighbouring side.

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Returning from last year’s squad, and already having put pen to paper to sign up for the new campaign, are Colin McMillan, Tom Johnston, Rab Henderson, Calum Blair, Chris & Ian Turley, Liam Riddell, Martyn Guy, Mark Hassan, Warren Crawford, Scott Cowan, netminder Graham Meechan, and Stuart Miller. Player/coach Ian Turley has also swooped to bring back former club favourites in the shape of Richard Thorp and Chris Underwood, while he has swooped to sign promising newcomer Haydn Bain, formerly with North Ayrshire Wild, who has made the short trip from the West coast to put pen to paper for the Pirates.

 

“I’m very pleased with the squad we’ve assembled so far,” commented Turley just prior to jetting off to Spain for a short pre-season break. “We played very well with a much reduced squad towards the end of last season, and I was very keen to retain the nucleus of that side for the new campaign.”

 

“I’ve still got a few players in mind who haven’t signed yet, but supporters don’t need to panic just now, there are various reasons why they haven’t registered with us at this juncture, and I’m hoping to add a number of familiar faces to the squad, and maybe another new face, before we open for business in the Autumn Cup at Kilmarnock on 5 September at 7.00pm. It’s not too far away now. We’ve got guys back who missed large chunks of the season through injury, some young blood in the team which is very important to the club’s long term development, and I believe we’ve added some firepower to the team as well as developing a strength in depth, something which, as we found out last season, is absolutely critical if we want to be challenging for honours, which is where we need to be.”
“I know there will be fans who will expect certain players to walk back into the team, but that won’t be happening. We showed last season at various times that we were able to cope, and even rise to the occasion when short handed, so while there are a number of players I would like to see back in a Pirates’ jersey for the new season, they’ll still have to show me that they’ve got the ability, commitment, and desire to play for that jersey all the time, before they’ll be invited to wear one of them! There aren’t too many spots still to be filled, and possibly we have more potential signings than there are vacancies, so it’s down to them to prove to me they merit inclusion.”

Paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates have received a welcome close season boost with the news that they have a Royal Appointment coming up in the very near future.

Coach Ian Turley, mum Jackie, Pirates’ club secretary, and dad Ian Snr, team manager, have all received an invitation to attend the Queen’s Garden Party, which will be held at Holyrood on Wednesday 1 July in the capital.

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“Yes,” said the coach, “it’s a huge honour to be asked to an event, and, needless to say, we’re quite chuffed about it, not for ourselves, but for the recognition the invitation gives to the Paisley Pirates for what it contributes to the local area. We’re forever saying that we’re a club run by the community, for the community, and in the community, and we believe this invitation reinforces that belief. We don’t do it for personal glory or anything like that, we do it for a love of the sport in general, and the Pirates in particular, so it’s lovely when a special invitation like this comes along, because it’s a reflection on everyone connected to the club, and a very positive one at that.”

“We haven’t heard of any other ice hockey club getting recognition of this kind, certainly not in this part of the world, so it’s a real boost for us to know that the club, and the work that goes into it by a whole lot of people, has been recognised at a higher level, and we’re already looking forward to the event, even if there’s just a wee touch of trepidation in there too!”

He joked,” We’re not quite ordering up the “By Royal Appointment” signs for the dressing room just yet, and I suppose there will be a fair bit of banter going on with the players and supporters alike, but they will also be so proud that THEIR club is continuing to receive this kind of attention for what it does, and it just makes you want to continue making the name and reputation of the Paisley Pirates one that is respected across the country and, we hope, continues to bring recognition of a positive kind to the local community which we are VERY proud to represent!”

pirates

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.

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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

Paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates finish off their season this weekend when they stage their end of season Presentation Night, which will be held in the 5 on 5 Club in Paisley on Saturday night at 7.00pm.

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“Yes, the season has had its ups and downs, like any other,” said coach Ian Turley as he looked back on a campaign which saw the Paisley club finish joint second in the Scottish National League, level on points with Edinburgh Capitals and just behind winners Kirkcaldy Kestrels, and go out of the Scottish Cup in controversial circumstances. They also made the semifinals of the Autumn Cup, and qualified for the end of season playoffs.

 

“We would, of course, liked to have won some silverware, given that we made the latter stages of two cup competitions and finished joint second in the league”, he commented, but it wasn’t to be for a number of reasons. I can’t recall a season where we lost so many players to injury and personal circumstances, I think at one stage we were missing FIVE defenders out of seven who were out injured, so it says so much about those left that we still finished the season in more than respectable fashion, and that we went four and a half months unbeaten.”

 

“This weekend’s Presentation Night gives us the chance to recognise all of the hard work that goes on over the course of a season and beyond, as not only do we announce the winners of the various awards, we also pay tribute to an army of volunteers without whom we simply couldn’t function. We always present each helper with a memento as a thank you for their help, and there’s also a special Volunteer Award. It’s something we’ve been doing for a number of years now, and it seems to be catching on at other clubs since we started doing it. In addition, There’s the various players’ awards, these being for Most Improved Player, the award for Effort and Attitude, the Difference Maker, the Players’ Player of the Year, and the Most Valuable Player, so it will be a busy night. This year too, we also get the chance to bid farewell to skipper John Churchill who has retired after over 25 years of playing in the sport as a senior.”

 

“We know the event will be well attended, as it always is, and it gets under way at 7.00pm, going on till late, and for only £7, which will include a buffet and a Disco once we’ve got all the presentations done, it’s going to be another good night. Anyone wishing more information can contact the Pirates’ website at paisleypirates@gmail.com, but hurry, because you don’t have much time left!”

Paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates’ supporters are furious after it was announced that there would be no 3rd/4th place playoff at this weekend’s SNL Playoff finals, weeks after they had booked accommodation for what was described as the showpiece event of the season for SNL fans.

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“It comes as a huge disappointment to learn that without discussion the traditional format has been ditched by the people in charge, without so much as a by your leave to the many fans who support this event,” said long time fan Bil Elliot. “Many followers, particularly Pirates’ fans who had the furthest to travel (approximately 180 miles round trip), decided to book into accommodation to remove the need to travel through to Kirkcaldy on the Saturday, watch the game, and then have to travel home on the Saturday night to return on Sunday morning (if Pirates were involved in the 3rd/4th place game), or for the final on Sunday night.”

 

“The other teams taking part (Kirkcaldy, Edinburgh and Dundee) are all within easy reach of the rink but a double journey like that was hardly the best preparation for what’s supposed to be the showpiece of the year for the SNL teams, and is hardly that, with the prospect of a blank morning and afternoon in Kirkcaldy, which with all possible respect is maybe not quite buzzing at that time.”

 

“A lot of Pirates’ fans, and indeed players and club officials, have shelled out a lot of money for accommodation for what was supposed to be a weekend of hockey, rather than an afternoon and two nights. You sometimes have to wonder if the people in charge of the sport at this level actually realise that there are supporters going to these events and who are due some consideration in recognition of that fact, never mind the teams who are actually preparing for one of the biggest events in the SNL calendar.”

Paisley pirates

Pirates duly qualified for the SNL Playoff Finals in Kirkcaldy following a goal fest at the Braehead Arena, which saw them despatch an Aberdeen side which, although never giving up, couldn’t quite match the firepower of the home side.

 

The Paisley side opened brightly and were ahead inside four minutes as Scott Cowan took a pass from Riddell to fire home in style and put his side in front, giving them a lead which they never looked like losing. With Malcolm sitting in the penalty box for Hooking, Pirates doubled their lead on the powerplay at the 12 minute mark, Cowan notching his second from assists by Orr and Campbell, and although chances came at both ends, the scoreboard remained unchanged at the first interval, with Pirates looking comfortable with a 3 goal aggregate lead, and having a “goal” washed out after 14 minutes for High Sticks..

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Pirates were again first on the board in the middle session, as McCamley got on the act in the 25th minute, but the score was immediately nullified as Leyden raced to the other end to score the visitors’ opener only 8 seconds later, and much to the delight of the travelling Lynx support. A two goals in two minutes’ burst from Pirates took the game away from Aberdeen as first Blair, then Riddell, took the score to 5-1, and with Orr emphasising the home side’s superiority with a 6th in 36 minutes, it was all over, although Leyden again retaliated with a second unassisted goal half a minute later, followed by McIntosh in the last seconds of the period to give the scoreline a slightly better hue for the visitors at 6-3 at the second interval.

 

Play was scrappy in the early part of the third period but at the halfway point, and for a few brief seconds, Lynx looked to get back in the game as Malcolm netted to bring the score to 6-4., but that’s where it ended as first Orr, then Hassan, scored within 40 seconds of each other to take the game away and give their side a 5 goal aggregate with little time left. Cowan duly completed his hat trick with less than 20 seconds remaining, and a 5th goal for the visitors, courtesy Turnbull, merely provided some window dressing for an Aberdeen side which never gave up, but which could not compete with a home side which retained its goal scoring touch of recent weeks.

 

Pirates now go through to the SNL Playoff Finals weekend on 11/12 April in Kirkcaldy, with Edinburgh Capitals, Dundee Comets, and the hosts, Kirkcaldy Kestrels, for company.