New Milton Keynes Lightning coach Lewis Clifford says he knows what’s needed at the club after being confirmed in the post for 2019-20 season.
The club are beginning their preparations for life in the National Ice Hockey League after ending their two-year stay in the EIHL, where they failed to make the play-offs on both occasions.
And the former MK Thunder coach is raring to go after agreeing to take over from Tim Wallace, who led the team for the second half of the season.
“Having been involved heavily with the club through the years, I believe I know what’s needed to get the club back to where it needs to be,” he said.
“I aim to give our fantastic supporters a team they are proud to call their own and after working alongside two outstanding coaches in Nick Poole and Pete Russell, if I can even get close to emulating the success those two brought to the club I will be extremely happy.
“Obviously this is a very important time for the club with the change in leagues, the prospect of a different brand of hockey and a different set of players.
“It will be a challenge for me to assemble a team to excite the fans here in MK but that’s exactly what I’m setting out to do.”
Clifford is very much Milton Keynes through and through after spending all of his playing and coaching in the town, where he worked with Lightning and Thunder.
At Lightning, he became assistant to Poole and Russell and worked with them for six years before spending the last couple of seasons with Thunder.
The club’s owner, Graham Moody, was pleased to bring Clifford on board and has backed him to restore the success to MK.
He said: “We’re extremely pleased that Lewis has decided to commit to the club for the season ahead and he knows exactly what it means to Lightning fans to have a winning team.
“He’s very well known to the MK hockey family and knows his way around the wider British hockey family. We’re confident that he can build and nurture a team that will bring success back to the Lightning.”