BLOG: Talking Clan Towers 1 – with Gareth Chalmers
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Firstly I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank all of our volunteers, club staff, arena staff, the OSC, sponsors and superb Purple Army for all your support during the 2015/16 season. The organisation continues to go from strength to strength and every single person connected with the club has had a fundamental part to play in that. It was with great pride to participate in our inaugural Champions Hockey League campaign, it was an absolute honour to see the Clan take on both ERC Ingolstadt and Växjo Lakers. We certainly turned a lot of heads around European hockey and personally I thought we were a credit to the EIHL on and off the ice. In the EIHL we didn’t progress further as expected, however a third place finish and another Gardiner Conference title in a much more competitive league is something we should be very positive about.
There is a lot going on at Clan Towers at the moment, since the players left in mid April we have been working to remove furniture from players apartments, players cars returned, process season ticket applications, talking to commercial partners about next season, finalising our 2016/17 playing budget and much much more. If anyone thinks this is the quiet time of the year for us, that’s far from the truth. Running a hockey club is non stop business and certainly 24/7.
From a team perspective, we’re delighted to welcome back Ryan Finnerty for 2016/17. Ryan is very hard working and very passionate coach, he wears his heart on his sleeve and is determined to bring further success to the Clan. The club directors held a meeting with Ryan at the playoff final weekend in Nottingham and discussed the past season, he knows the area’s he needs to improve and what we need to do. Ryan will now go out and try and recruit the best team possible within the club’s very competitive budget. I think you’ll see a much faster, younger and physical team next season.
There is a lot of emails, comments on Facebook and tweets coming into us about players returning or new signings. I can assure there is a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes to build the team Ryan wants this season and we should have some exciting news very soon. The process of signing players can’t be rushed, there are too many options in the market that we need to investigate, do our homework on and ensure they’ll fit into what we’re trying to build. Different clubs recruit in different ways, for example Sheffield are at a very advanced stage with their player recruitment. However we feel that taking our time, signing our returning imports and British players first and then signing new imports in June, July and August is the best policy for ourselves. It’s worked the past three season’s for us as we’ve seen the progression and we’ll be continuing with that trend. I appreciate everyone wants to know what exciting new players we are bringing to the club, however please be patient and we are sure you’ll be happy with the team that takes to the ice come August.
We’re already at an advanced stage with planning for the new season with the players expected to arrive into Glasgow the weekend of the 13th and 14th August. The first Challenge Cup games will take place on the weekend of the 10th and 11th September. We have already agreed two pre-season games with a team, with details expected to be announced soon and we’re in discussions with another to come to Braehead Arena for two games. Keep checking braeheadclan.com, Clan Facebook and Clan Twitter for further updates.
We had more superb news at Clan Towers over the past few days, that for a second year running that we’ve surpassed 1,000 season ticket applications in late April. That’s a superb achievement, especially when you take into account we play in a venue with a capacity of 3,500. Season Ticket holders are fundamental to any sporting organisation, it provides us with the capital to plan and build the best possible on and off ice product possible. I’d just like to thank everyone who has applied so far and shown the support in us. Just a reminder that THIS SATURDAY is the early bird season ticket deadline, take advantage of this superb offer HERE.
Thanks for your continued support,
Gareth Chalmers (@garethchalmers)
Hockey & Operations Director