Paisley Pirates’ boss Ian Turley is eager to make up for lost time as his team kick-off their SNL season this weekend.
The reigning champions visit North Ayrshire Wild on Saturday before returning to home ice the following day to face Kilmarnock Storm.
Their late start to the campaign has left the Pirates playing catch up with the rest of the league, but Turley is looking forward to beginning the defence of their title.
“It’ll be good to get back onto the ice in competitive action after such a long spell of inactivity,” he told the club’s official website.
“The whole set-up has a new freshness to it all, with Adam Walker joining me to double the coaching capacity within the club – it’s certainly given me a boost to have someone as knowledgeable and proficient as him working alongside me.
“The make-up of the team has changed quite a bit, and it’s been great for Adam and me to work with these guys, but we now have to put our ideas into practice on the ice.
“The new squad is absolutely desperate to learn and it’s a big boost to the pair of us to have such an attentive pool of players.”
Saturday’s trip to face North Ayrshire sees the Pirates take on a side who pushed Aberdeen Lynx hard last weekend, while Sunday’s opponents Kilmarnock Storm have recorded three victories this season.
Turley admits he expects a difficult weekend against teams who have already been in competitive action.
“It’s a situation we’ve been used to in recent years, so we’ll just get on with it,” he added.
“Wild will be keen to turn us over. Apart from it being a local derby we now have a number of former Wild players in our ranks, who’ll all be very keen to ensure they retain bragging rights over their former teammates.
“We’re hoping for a big crowd at Braehead on Sunday to welcome the team back onto home ice for the first time in six months as we take on Kilmarnock.
“Storm have had a good start to the season and have already racked up a couple of wins, so they’ll be fancying their chances of coming into our place and keeping their good opening run going.
“Our first home match is also dedicated to the memory of two faithful supporters, Jess Donnelly and Jim Dinning, who both sadly passed away over the close season, so we have an extra special reason for doing well on the opening night.
“Our fans have waited a long time to see us, so we’re hoping for two top notch performances to get our season underway.”
(Image permission: Al Goold Photo)