Great Britain head coach builds Clan links with Solway Sharks Juniors

Solway Sharks Juniors got their preparations for the upcoming season underway with a special session led by Great Britain head coach Pete Russell.

The 44-year-old led GB back to ice hockey’s elite level for the first time since 1994 earlier this year, and he has since been appointed as Glasgow Clan’s new head coach.

As part of the partnership between the Sharks and the Elite League club, Russell brought the Clan squad to Dumfries Ice Bowl for a pre-season training camp.

The event allowed Sharks’ junior players to spend time with Clan’s players and pick up some tips ahead of the new Scottish Ice Hockey season.

Solway head coach Martin Grubb said: “This was an amazing opportunity for our young players to not only skate with the Clan players, but to also meet and interact with them.

“Pete and I have been talking all summer about building on the partnership the two clubs have and finding a way to include the juniors, and we both felt this was the perfect opportunity.

“It is hopefully a dream of all our young players to play at the highest level, and to be able to see how these players train and how hard they work was a fantastic experience for them.

“The Clan players loved it as well, and were very impressed with the kids and the junior players can be very proud of that. Going forward Pete and I will be looking at further ideas to strengthen the link we have between the clubs, and it was an absolute pleasure to have the Clan here at Dumfries Ice Bowl.”

Solway Juniors Chair Leanne Thomson added: “It was a fabulous experience for the junior players to have the chance to have the Clan coach and players pass on their knowledge and tips to them, and they all had a ball skating and shooting with their heroes.

“It isn’t every day you get to train with the top level ice hockey players in the country, and our junior players thoroughly enjoyed it.

“Pete and the Clan boys were really good with the juniors – very patient and encouraging.

“Coming just after our week-long summer hockey school, this extra training with Elite League players and coach means the junior players are going into the new season as prepared as they can possibly be.”