The Paisley Pirates return to the Braehead Arena for the first time in eight weeks, as they get set to take on the Dundee Tigers in SNL action on Saturday 11th December.
It has been a difficult away period for the club, with the players only getting back on the ice this week.
The Pirates have been without a game for five weeks now, with the players making use of the ProLife Fitness Suite in Paisley to keep themselves ticking over in preparation for Saturday’s match, courtesy of conditioning classes provided by one of their main sponsors.
Since the Pirates last match, a 3-3 draw with the Aberdeen Linx on Guy Fawkes night, the Dundee Tigers have overtaken the Pirates at the top of the Scottish National League, having taken full advantage of their extra time on the ice.
You would initially think that a coach would be somewhat troubled if their team had just been leapfrogged at the top of the table, but Pirates coach Ian Turley however welcomes the challenge presented by the Tigers new status as league leaders;
“Sometimes it’s easier to be in the chasing pack rather than have the pressure of being top dog, when everybody’s after you and looking to bring you down, so it’ll give a new dimension to the league title race, with them looking over their shoulder all the time.”
Turley is also in absolutely no doubt over the threat that Dundee pose to his side;
“We’ve got a difficult game to come back to, in that the Dundee Tigers are nobody’s mugs and they have been playing while we haven’t. They’ve clocked up some good results this season, and will be keen to stop us in our tracks as we try to get back to winning our games and keeping the pressure at the top of the table, while they’ll be looking to cement their aspirations for a top four place at least.”
To mark their return to home ice after an eight week absence, the Paisley Pirates will also have a lot of first time spectators in attendance, as part of their special groups deal which apply this weekend and next.
That’s not all though, as the club are also supporting the special collection of foodstuffs, organised by the Supporters Club, being made to assist both the Trussell Trust and Renfrewshire Foodbank.
“We’ll be back with a bang, we hope,” adds Turley.
“With a bigger than usual crowd, given we’ve been away for nearly two months, we’re hoping that they’ll get right behind us with plenty of encouragement, which can make all the difference when guys are going out with tired legs towards the end of a tight match.
“We’ve got no worries that our faithful fans will be delighted to welcome us back onto the ice after such a long break, even if a few might have to use Sat Nav after such a long break to remember how to get to the rink, so we’ve no worries that we’ll have backing in numbers.”
Despite his teams lengthy absence from the ice, Turley was defiant in light of recent disruptions, and called for the home support to help see the team through what will be a tough task come Saturday;
“We have the best of facilities at Braehead Arena, but sometimes it can be difficult for other reasons, such as non-availability when you’re on a run of good performances, like it’s been recently. That’s when a loud support comes into its own, and the Pirates fans can certainly help the players in that respect – this is a good example of the sort of adversity that will face us over the course of a season, issues which we have to overcome to win things, so we will be going for it on Sunday night, never fear!”