Hey Storm fans,
I hope you’re all well and getting ready for what promises to be an amazing season ahead! It has been a while since I’ve sent out one of these messages, needless to say it has been a mega busy time for everyone leading into the new season.
So, what’s been going on I hear you ask? Well, I think as a club we are excellent at keeping you guys updated regularly with developments etc, even during the summer months, but it’s always good to re-cap for those that may have missed anything. So, here goes.
TEAM: I am very confident that we have built a team that will exceed last seasons in terms of the overall product. We are bigger, more physical, and definitely have a lot more of an edge, that’s for certain. Intertwined with skill and speed, I like us a lot. Our rink has a small ice pad, so Pach and I really felt getting bigger and more physical for the 30 games we will play in our own barn was a necessity. We want teams dreading coming into our barn, want them to know that every single time they set foot onto our ice that it’s going to be a battle.
Regards the personalities on the team, with Pach having a full off-season to do extensive reference checks on all players, again, we are very confident that we have a strong core of leadership this season. This was an area we really wanted to address during the summer, and as I say, we are very confident we have achieved that. For example, someone like Trevor Johnson oozes leadership & the way he communicates and conducts himself makes him a pleasure to deal with. He’s not just a cracking hockey player, but a man who has been around the block in hockey terms, and he will be pivotal for us this season, alongside the likes of Mark Heatley/Eric Neilson to name but a few of the more experienced guys.
We have one more signing to announce, an import forward, and we will announce that signing when all is signed, sealed and delivered. Like all our signings, we won’t be rushed into a snappy decision. That final position is crucial, we will be diligent and ensure we get the right fit, but i would anticipate that we will have some news on that front by the end of the week. Overall, the league as a whole is getting better and better each passing season, but I am really confident in what we have put together this off-season, and you the fans are in for a great season of entertaining hockey. Of that I am certain.
OFF-ICE: Off-season, what off-season?!?! Hockey is a sport that never sleeps, there is always something to be done and achieved, and this summer has been super busy. But, do you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way. You’ve all heard Pach and I talk about laying foundations for the club, well, that’s what we are doing. To achieve our goals, it requires a lot of commitment off the ice, and again, like the building of this season’s team, I am very confident that we are laying solid foundations for years ahead with the Manchester Storm.
We have also brought on board new sponsors this summer, and some very exciting ones at that. We also have a few more to announce, which we will do over the next couple of weeks leading into the season. As I have mentioned many times before, a lot of hockey sponsorship’s are driven by fans, whether it be through your own business, or companies that you work for. Keep spreading that word in your workplaces for us, the Storm are a superb brand for businesses to be aligned with & we will push your business regularly throughout the year for you to see a return on your investment.
All in all, whilst is has been a massively busy summer, it has been a very productive one. We are WAY ahead of where we were this time last year. Pach & Patrik Valcak are already in Manchester and skated last night with the Aces, all we need now are the rest of the guys to join us which they will be from the start of next week, in time for camp starting on Sunday 28th. We then have our team induction day on Monday 29th, something we couldn’t have last season as everyone was arriving here there and everywhere!! This is an important day, a day when we will get a lot of the admin boxed off, but it also allows myself, Pach, and the backroom guys to outline expectations of the team, both on and off the ice for the season ahead.
Also, I just want to take the opportunity to thank you the fans for your great support during the off-season, right from the magnificent backing of Own & Loan jerseys, work in the community spreading the word of the Storm even further, and also your backing of our OSC events. It is amazing to see our “Meet The Players” event is totally sold out on the 30th Aug. It promises to be a great evening, and a really good opportunity for you all to meet all of the players and get to know them. The next OSC event after “Meet The Players” is the “Storm Quiz” on Sunday 11th Sept, all the players will be present and competing so we look forward to seeing everyone at that. I’m told tickets are selling fast for it, so get in now to avoid disappointment. I know from speaking with the players throughout the summer that they’re all super excited to get here and play in front of you all this season.
Our first home pre-season game as you know is Wednesday 31st Aug vs Coventry Blaze (19.30pm) , followed by another home game against arch rivals, the Sheffield Steelers on Saturday 3rd Sept (19pm). Make sure to bring along friends, family, work colleagues to these games and introduce them to the best sport in the world! I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait to get this Elite League season going!!