Braehead Clan Head Coach Ryan Finnerty is pleased with his team’s progress ahead of this weekend’s pre-season double-header against Belfast Giants.
Clan, who won 5-2 at Nottingham Panthers last weekend to claim the Aladdin Cup, face the Giants at the SSE Arena on Saturday before returning to Braehead Arena on Sunday.
“The practice has gone as well as I could have hoped for this week – we’re outside of our rink, so we’re travelling which isn’t an ideal scenario,” said Finnerty.
“We’re picking up fast and the team is integrating well. The communication side of it has been great and we’re all trying to make sure we’re doing the same things.
“It’s something we didn’t have last year – it was a pretty quiet room, but this year they all want to get on the same page and it’s been a lot of fun.
“Our ‘D’ were talking to our forwards and helping with problem solving, and any time guys are so comfortable to be talking so early in the season is a good sign.
“It’s different from last year where we were thrown straight into the Champions League, so I’m trying to get as much from these games as possible, while trying to get everyone on the ice.
Belfast will present a stern test to Finnerty and his new-look team with the beginning of the season just over a week away.
While wanting wins isn’t unusual at this stage, Finnerty’s looking for other aspects of the overall game to be better as preparations continue.
He added: “Other than victories, I’m looking for progression in these two games and be better than before. We want to have better shape and have better understandings too.
“We’ve been working a lot on our special teams and we’ll look to put that into practice this weekend and get a look at different guys in those situations.
“We want to be better, try out the different systems and come out of it injury free.
“We’re not too focussed on Belfast though, as I’d rather concentrate on our own systems and see how our players adapt – it’s a good opportunity to see where the guys are at.”
(Image permission: Karl Denham)