Hi Purple Army,

I hope everyone is well and is looking forward to an exciting finish to the season.

What a season it has been so far as well! After last season’s bitterly disappointing 9th place and failure to make the playoffs, I knew we needed to make changes to ensure the club could put a team on the ice that the fanbase could be proud of. While it was a time for a lot of soul-searching for everyone connected with club, the priority was to move quick after the season and get a head coach in place. I’ve known Pete personally now for about 12 years and have watched him work his way up from working in Cardiff, to Swindon, Bracknell, Slough etc in the EPL. Pete and I had always mentioned working together one day, I didn’t expect it to happen this quickly. I had spoke to Pete the previous season about the job, but he understandably wanted to show some loyalty to Milton Keynes, especially with it being their first season in the EIHL. However, this time around Pete was available, the ownership and myself decided Pete was our man. We needed someone that understood Glasgow, knew the British game and could bring the identity that we wanted – thank god we got him signed up before the World Championships with GB!

I was aware that bringing in Pete was going to have a mixed reaction, which was understandable. However, after discussing recruitment and signing options with him, I knew straight away he was going to sign the type of team we all wanted. Pete has done a fantastic job, he’s brought the identity, he’s brought the blue collar, hardworking style of hockey that this club needs to be built around. During my six season’s at the Clan, this is the best and most enjoyable team I have seen here – they are an absolute credit to the club. What else should be taken into consideration, is in the past we’ve had the conference system which has certainly benefited the likes of ourselves. However this season the advantage of that system has seen a league that results in each team playing 3×3 rather than 2×2 and 4×4. So to be where we are right now is remarkable, Pete and the guys deserve all the plaudits for this. There is still 3rd place and the playoffs to play for, so it’s going to be an exciting finish to the season for everyone.

The news has been announced by the EIHL this week that if Belfast or Cardiff win the Predictorbet Playoffs, that the team that finished 3rd in the EIHL will qualify for the Continental Cup. Obviously it’s a very exciting prospect for the fan base and the club, and certainly puts a twist on the end to the regular season. It was an absolute privilege for the Clan to be involved in the Champions Hockey League back in 2015, and since just like the Purple Army, we’ve been wanting to have those experiences again. There are two routes for qualifying, win the playoffs or if Belfast or Cardiff taste that success, by finishing 3rd in the league. Reflecting back to this time last season, it’s night and day, what a thrilling climax to this season!

This Friday we welcome back Stefan Meyer and his wife Chantel to Glasgow. As many of you will have seen on Clan social media, Stefan’s banner went up in the Arena on Monday, ahead of the big game. Friday looks like it’s going to be a sell-out which is absolutely superb for Stefan. Stefan and his family will always have place at this club, he’s part of our history and part of a period that saw a lot of growth and progression at the club. A 2nd and 3rd place finish, plus Champions League hockey – what great memories! I can recall when Ryan [Finnerty] mentioned Stefan to me, with the possibility of bringing him here from Sheffield. Stefan had been stalling on a new contract from the Steelers and thankfully for us, a move here fell into place. We had already signed Matt Keith from Salzburg, Leigh Salters from Nottingham and Fitzy from the AHL. We were turning a lot of heads that summer and the late signing of Stefan certainly added to that. I am sure the whole Purple Army is looking forward to Friday and giving Stefan and Chantel a warm welcome home!

Thanks for your continued support!

Gareth