NEXT HOME GAME: We’re celebrating Pride THIS SUNDAY (4:30pm face-off) when the Fife Flyers come to Braehead Arena. Tickets are selling fast, don’t miss out! Book your tickets NOW online HERE, by calling the ticket hotline on 0844 499 1700 or direct at the Braehead Arena box office (Thursday 12 noon to 9pm, Friday 12 noon to 5pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm).

Hi Purple Army,

I hope everyone is well, obviously it’s a very frustrating time for everyone connected with the club. After a very good start to the season which saw us top of the EIHL and looking to further extend our lead, to the present where we find ourselves in 7th and in a battle for a playoff spot. Our form over the past 20 to 25 games has been very disappointing, however we now must now fully focus on the next two months.

We head into a very difficult 3-in-3 weekend looking to get our season back on track against Dundee and Fife who are both in the thick of a playoff battle with ourselves and Belfast who are looking to close the gap on Sheffield at the top of the EIHL.

At the time of writing this, we once again will be heading into the games minus five players who are out of action through injury or illness. I have been involved in hockey now for 20 years and have never seen a team hit by the injuries and illness the way we have been this season. We seem to take one step forward and then two steps back.

This has without a doubt had a massive effect on our season, it’s absolutely crippled us and has been the major factor in our loss of form and ultimately our slide down the table. We haven’t been able to get a settled team, settled lines, settled special teams and continuity throughout the club which is now catching up with us. On paper this team is probably the most talented group of players we have ever had here – so it’s been extremely frustrating to see this happen.

Rest assured we are doing everything as a club we can to rectify the situation and get our form turned around. We’ve now carried a spare import and spare British player since late November to try and support the situation, which is something we have never been in a financial position to do as a club until this season. We are waiting on further injury news presently which could force us back into recruiting another additional player.

Despite having a tight player budget due to our uncontrollable financial constraints (Arena rent, Arena capacity, our larger competitors now spending 50% to 80% more than we are, etc.), we are now spending more money on the team than we have ever done in the 10 years of the Clan. As a club we are working flat out to try and ensure this club finishes as high up the table as possible and has a successful end to the season.

It’s an important time period coming up for the club, we have a very good run of home games heading into February and we must focus on turning around our form and making Braehead a fortress once again. You, the fans, as ever, have been outstanding this season, the atmosphere at home games is without a doubt the best in the league and certainly helps the guys on the ice. It’s massively appreciated, keep it up, we are all working very hard to give you the results that you all deserve.

This weekend will be the EIHL’s first ever Pride Weekend and it’s something the club and I am personally very proud to be involved with. It’s a fantastic initiative for our sport and league to be driving forward and I must congratulate Luke Fisher (EIHL Media Manager) for organising and getting off the ground.

This club is very progressive, liberal, diverse and has a fan base to match that – so it’s very important for us to connect with our fans by supporting initiatives such as #PrideWeekend and also supporting local charities such as Pancreatic Cancer Scotland and Ronald McDonald House. We were very proud that our fans adopted the rainbow theme and displayed the Hockey Is For Everyone banner at last season’s Playoff Finals Weekend – you the Purple Army literally got this ball rolling!

We will be wearing our limited edition Pride jersey on Sunday, they look absolutely fantastic and will prove to be very popular. Following the game we will be auctioning them off in the Arena while one shirt will be won through the Creation IP Shirt off the Back draw, once again a jersey of your choice!

Thank you so far to everyone who has voted for this season’s Warrior Wall of Fame inductee – we have three fantastic options this season in Ash Goldie, Chris Frank and Jordan Krestanovich – just a reminder that the voting finishes at Sunday’s game Fife. We should be in a position to announce the winner shortly after the game.

I look forward to seeing many of you THIS SUNDAY when the Fife Flyers make another visit to Braehead Arena (4:30pm face-off). We all know how big Clan v Flyers are for both organisations and both sets of fans, this will be no different. Tickets are available online HERE, by calling the ticket hotline on 0844 499 1700 or direct at the Braehead Arena box office.

Thank you for your continued support!

Gareth