Coventry Blaze’s Ross Venus admits he’s living his dream as he prepares to mark ten years at the club with his testimonial.
Blaze heroes from past and present will be at the Skydome tonight to pay tribute to Venus as he marks his decade there.
And the 25-year-old looked back on his first days there as he forged his path in professional ice hockey.
“I remember turning up for my first day with my dad at the age of 16 and I recall him perhaps being more excited than me when I first signed,” Venus said.
“At that point, you don’t think so far ahead and I just wanted to play hockey and things have just gone well for me.
“I’m from Solihull and I used to come and watch the Barons when I was starting to play then I moved to Coventry when I was 10 or 11 and I started going to the Blaze games.
“It’s the stuff of dreams in many respects and it’s the same for David Clements as well, who is from Coventry. That was when the team were up there challenging for titles, with Adam Calder playing and doing what he did. We idolised guys like that and now, here we are.”
A who’s who in Blaze’s history will be there to help celebrate Venus’ achievement with former coach Paul Thompson joining current coach Danny Stewart and other legendary names for the huge event.
Venus spoke of the players he has coming back, revealing why he asked them to return.
He added: “There’s a few big names coming back – some British legends as well as imports from, most notably, the play-off winning team from 2015 so it’ll be good to meet up with them.
“I’d played in Russell Cowley and Matt Soderstrom’s testimonial so it gave me a good feel of what sort of happens in an event like this and the planning involved.
“The players coming back, such as Greg Owen, Ashley Tait and Cowley, they all had an influence on me and my career as a young player coming through, especially being British and wanting to play for GB.
“Ryan O’Marra was another who helped me a lot and we played together on a line for a good couple of months that season and we clicked, along with Steven Goertzen so it’ll be great to see these guys again.
“I’m really excited. It’s a big occasion to be at the one club for ten years and it’ll be great to get everyone back together. It’s going to be an amazing night.
“Everything’s ready to go and we’ve got the beers in as well and I hope everyone has a good night and enjoys it.
“It means a lot to me and I’m sure it will sink in properly when it happens. Being at this club for a long time and I’m happy to be here and grateful for this opportunity.”