SNL preview: Dolan aiming to “win it all again” with the Comets this season

Dundee Comets’ player/coach John Dolan has set his sights on sweeping the board again in Scotland this season.

Dolan’s side completed the treble in 2017/18, winning the SNL title, play-offs and Scottish Cup.

The Comets are chasing success on four fronts this time around, with the newly-formed Stuart Robertson Cup introduced into the schedule this term.

They kick-off their 2018/19 campaign with a home game against Aberdeen Lynx in the eastern group of the new competition and Dolan is eager to start with a victory.

“This year I think we are stronger as a squad,” he said. “The young guys I brought in last year are a year older and have the winning feeling and mentality.

“They were able to help us win the lot last year and that has helped us attract new players that I hope also want the winning feeling.

“Hopefully this weekend will be a good one. Aberdeen normally bring a good crowd down with them, but having played the pre-season games against Murrayfield Racers and at the Solway tournament we are in a good place with our preparations.

“I would be love to win it all again this season, but I know that we are the team that everyone else will be aiming to beat.”

Paisley Pirates visit Solway Stingrays in the western section on Sunday hoping to record their second victory in the competition.

The Pirates looked to be heading for defeat at Kilmarnock Thunder last weekend as the home side raced into a 4-1 lead.

However, they recovered in style to win 7-4 and coach Adam Walker admitted he was delighted with the fightback.

“Last week’s opening game at Kilmarnock was a good test to where we were at this stage in the season,” he said.

“We started a little slow, but really found our way in the last two periods. This weekend should be another good test and it’s one we’re looking forward to.”

Murrayfield’s director of hockey, Tony Hand, believes his side are in for another tough encounter in the NIHL North Cup on Saturday.

Racers, who were beaten 8-2 by Billingham Stars last Sunday, entertain Blackburn Hawks this weekend.

The Hawks have started the season disappointingly, losing their opening two league matches, but Hand expects them to raise their game at Murrayfield.

“Blackburn are one of the top NIHL1 teams with a lot of quality players who I used to coach (at Manchester Phoenix), said Hand.

“It will very a very tough match for the Racers.”

Murrayfield worked hard during last week’s match at Bilingham, but the home side’s greater depth proved to be crucial.

Hand was pleased with the effort shown by his players, but admitted there are areas that need to be improved.

“We just have to settle down defensively as team,” he added.

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Saturday

Dundee Comets v Aberdeen Lynx – SRC East
Murrayfield Racers v Blackburn Hawks – NIHL Cup
North Ayrshire Wild v Solway Stingrays- SRC West

Sunday

Solway Stingrays v Paisley Pirates – SRC West

(Image permission: Derek Black)