Christmas Message from the GM

NEXT HOME GAME: The Go Goodwins Manchester Storm face the Nottingham Panthers at the Storm Shelter this Sunday (5:00pm face-off) in the first of three themed “retro nights”. Tickets can be purchased online via the website, calling the box office on tel: 0161-926-8782 or on the day at the box office.

Hi Storm fans,

It’s that time of year when we all send out our festive greetings to one and all, and reflect on the year that’s just gone, whilst of course we all look forward to Christmas Day with our loved ones. So i figured i should send out a Christmas message/half season progress report, from myself, to all of you superb Storm fans.

Firstly, thanks to each and everyone of you for your support these opening 3-4 months of the season. It feels like a lifetime ago since I landed in Manchester in early August to begin my role as GM of this great franchise. You have all heard me say many many times about the level of work that has gone in to get this club up and running, so I’ll refrain from going into more depth about it, but it has been colossal. I just want to take this opportunity to thank a few people though, because it really is warranted. To Phil Lowe (Head of Volunteers) and to all of his crew, a MASSIVE thank you. To all of the staff at Silverblades Altrincham who have gone above and beyond in their help and support, a huge thank you too. You only have to read online all of the superb feedback that the rink staff and our volunteers get from right across the league, to see how awesome a job they are all doing.

Mark Johnson & Mike Petrouis are superb owners of this club. Both of them like to keep in the background, but they’re both very passionate about British hockey. Mark & I have worked very closely together from when I took up the reigns, and he’s been available to speak at anytime of day or night, which I’ve always appreciated.

My reflections on the first half of the season team wise, i hear you ask? Firstly, i’m very much a realist. I knew bringing 12 new imports into this league for the first time, into a club that was literally starting up again, was always going to be hard on everyone the opening few months of the season. But you know what, we’ve surprised a lot of teams. Who’d have thought at the start of the season we’d have travelled to a powerhouse in this league in Belfast, and walk away with the points. Not many. Who’d have thought that we would have qualified for the Challenge Cup 1/4 finals like we have? Not many again. Our issue has been that we’ve been consistently inconsistent, but a lot of coaches in this league are saying the exact same thing. I genuinely believe we will be a second half of the season team, and I know how hard Pach and Mike Morin are working behind the scenes with the team to make sure this happens. We had a lot of really positive meetings this week with the team as a management group, and refocused the minds in time for a busy Christmas period and the dogfight that will be the second half of the season! Our team is ready, i’m sure of it.

I also want to say a huge thanks to the Goodwin family, they have been beyond superb chief sponsors. The whole family are at every game, and are so passionate about the Storm which is great to see. I count Wes as one of my good friends now, the man is a star.

How awesome is it to have the legend Jon Hammond back with us?! Jon is someone I count as not just a friend, but a great confidant & sounding board. He provides so much energy to our building every night, and in my opinion, he’s the best in the business when it comes to game night entertainment. And as anyone that really knows me will tell you, i’m not the most easily pleased as i set high standards of what I expect, and it’s fair to say that Jon has more than met those expectations.

Again, to you the fans, a huge thanks. The players love the energy you bring to the #StormShelter every single week, and it’s been great to see the crowds rise and rise week by week. All things considered, we’ve done a good job in doing what we’ve done in such a short space of time! Keep spreading the word with your families, work colleagues,  bosses, youth groups, schools, that the STORM ARE BACK!

I wish each and everyone of you a very merry Christmas with your loved ones, and I look forward to seeing you all at our games over Christmas, staring this Sunday 20th at 5pm vs the Nottingham Panthers, and for the rest of the season!

Cheers,

Neil

neil

You can see your Go Goodwins Coaches sponsored Manchester Storm in upcoming “Retro Nights” against the Nottingham Panthers (20th Dec), Fife Flyers (27th Dec), and the Sheffield Steelers on New Years Day.

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