Sam sets strategy to silence Skydome supporters

Tigers defenceman Sam Zajac will ignore the ‘anyone but Telford’ approach from fans during this weekend’s play-off finals at the Coventry Skydome.

Supporters from all eight opposing sides in the EPL are expected to back The Tigers’ opponents, Peterborough Phantoms, during Saturday’s semi-final.

And should Telford win that game, they will almost certainly face a similar wall of opposition in the final on Sunday, as they look to secure a historic treble.

But Zajac, who faced the pressure of an Elite League play-off tournament with Braehead Clan, is looking forward to performing in front of a partisan crowd.

He said: “Play-off finals are always very exciting for players and the level of play steps up every time. It will be the very best of the English Premier League this weekend and all the boys are really excited.

“I really enjoy playing in front of noisy crowds during these sort of games. I am sure the other supporters will ramp up the atmosphere and hopefully we’ll give our fans something to cheer about as well.

“It doesn’t matter who you face in a play-off semi-final. You’ve got to turn up and dictate the play. Hopefully, we will do that in front of a big crowd and get through to the final on Sunday.”

Telford’s preparations will, however, follow a similar pattern to the rest of the year, with Head Coach Tom Watkins demanding a “business as usual” approach.

Zajac added: “We are keeping a lid on it this week and to be honest, is very much business as usual for the players. I am sure as we get closer to the weekend, it will play on peoples’ minds a bit more.

“We just want to get to Saturday, arrive in Coventry and get involved.”

That semi-final – or the final on Sunday, if they beat Peterborough – will bring to an end a remarkable season for The Tigers.

This year’s squad is already the most successful in the club’s history, with the EPL title and British Challenge Cup in the bag.

Zajac will use the post-season period as a chance to reflect on those achievements.

“It has been a very long season, but also extremely successful,” he said.

“We’ve reached all the goals we set for ourselves, so once this weekend is over, I am sure it will all sink in quickly.”

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