Hi Purple Army,

I hope everyone is well and enjoying the summer – can you believe it, hockey is back next month!

As ever, it’s been yet another extremely busy summer at the Clan, appointing a new head coach, signings, season tickets, visas, ITC’s, apartments, new cars, sponsorship etc etc, the list just goes on! It may surprise quite a few people, but the summer months for us are probably as busy as the season itself, if not more – there is always so much going on, but ultimately it’s all very positive.

I am delighted to confirm we completed the team on Sunday, we received the final contract back from a player we had been chasing for a number of weeks and it felt great to get the deal over the line. The player in question was someone that Fitzy first came to me with when he took the coaching role. Fitzy has worked very hard to make the deal happen, so it was extremely satisfying for us to get it signed and sealed.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Glasgow Caledonian University for working with us once again this season, which has enable us to get the schooling guys we wanted. GCU have this coming year introduced MBA’s into their prospectus, this has been very important in allowing us to attract the likes of Jordan Heywood, Matt Pufahl and finally this forward to Glasgow.

On paper I am very happy with the team we’ve assembled on paper, the proof will be what happens on the ice, however I believe we all have another exciting season to look forward to. We highlighted towards the end of last season where our weaknesses were, I know we have strongly upgraded in those areas and I believe we have a very strong roster heading into the new season.

As the majority of you will have seen, the 2019/20 fixtures list was launched yesterday. I am happy with the schedule we have. This year’s fixtures meeting was one of the most difficult I’ve experienced since joining the Clan back in 2013. We now have 8 to 9 teams wanting to play their home games on a Saturday, the result of this has been that we’ve had to distribute those key nights around the whole league to make it fair and viable for all the clubs involved.

The Clan are a Saturday night home club, if we could play every single Saturday night on home ice we would. I personally don’t like Sunday’s at all for varying reasons, however it’s now going to become more of the norm and something as a club we have to adapt too (that or more Friday nights).

You may have noticed that we’ve reverted back to 6pm face-off’s on a Sunday after initially trialling 4pm face-off’s on a Sunday last season. As a club we want 4pm face-off’s, they were a big success for us last season and it’s something we want for the future. However, unfortunately at this time the Arena have advised us that 4pm face-off’s are not financially viable for them. Our data from last season suggests people prefer 4pm face-off’s and I strongly believe it’s the only viable way forward for the Clan to play at home on a Sunday – I am very hopeful we can work with the Arena to change that for the future.

I was delighted that we were able to confirm Ronald McDonald House Glasgow as one of our two nominated charity partners for the upcoming season. I’ve been out to the house and have seen first hand the superb work they do. After that, it was a very easy decision to support them and I am really looking forward to working with Helen Craig and Kirsten Graham during the 2019/20 season.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Maisie McCormick and Beatson Cancer Charity for being one of our nominated charity partners over the past two seasons. During that time, the Purple Army raised an incredible £20k+ for Beatson and I know it’s one they are extremely grateful for.

I am sure everyone, like me, is looking forward to the visit of EHC Freiburg for the Summer Series games. Pete and Freiburg should provide us with an exciting pre-season test. Tickets should be on sale very soon, we’re just tying up some final details in relation to tickets and we’ll be confirming everything in due course. Keep an eye here on clanihc.com and Clan social media for further details.

Here is to an exciting 2019/20 and thanks for all your support!

Gareth