This Sunday sees round 2 of the Elite League, with last years runners up, Bangor Chiefs getting their season underway.
The Chiefs finished as runners up in the Elite League regular season & playoffs; both to the Pelicans and will be determined to go 1 better this season. They had a number of players represent Ireland over the summer who we are sure will be raring to get the season underway.
We spoke to Chiefs captain, Darren Snel to get his views on the season ahead.
Being away with Team Ireland in the summer is there anything you've changed in your game? Are we expecting changes in the way the Chiefs set-up?
With going away with Team Ireland I was able to understand the importance of playing defensively and puck possession, this is something I feel we can further progress with our team. We have kept the core group mostly the same but have a few new additions like Gareth Martin and the return of Matthew Snel who will add a different dynamic in games and will battle hard every shift.
With the Elite League getting more competitive year on year, what are your expectations on the season ahead? Who are the teams to watch?
I find at the start of the season we can see teams surprise others, and a poor start last season cost us in the end. Every game will be competitive, the Pelicans and Rebels will surely be strong again but I would look out for teams like the Thunder and Storm who have young players with a lot of energy and desire. The return of the Cyclones will also be a competitive team to play against and I'm sure we'll have a few battles.
How important is it to get off to a good start this weekend? What are the keys to success?
It’s always important to come out strong for confidence at the start of the season. I feel the key to success is to play our game and not be dictated by other team’s play. We will also have to make some slight adjustments for the smaller nets and make the most of our chances when they arise.
Cheers for taking the time Darren, good luck this weekend and the rest of the season!