Garside set for a Giant night of celebration

Mark Garside will celebrate 10 years at Belfast Giants on Tuesday with his testimonial game (PHOTO: Press Eye)

Mark Garside has revealed the planning of his testimonial has been hard work, but he’s had a little help from his friends.

The 30-year-old will be celebrated for his 10 years service to the club as past and present Giants come together to commemorate his time with Belfast Giants.

And he spoke of the preparations for the big event on Tuesday at the SSE Arena and how he had a helping hand.

“The fans, as well as the sponsors have been a big help for this testimonial and it’s very humbling to get that support from people and I couldn’t have done it without them,” Garside said.

“Bringing it all together has been the most difficult, but there is a lot to organise when it comes to the testimonial.  I’ve got a testimonial committee who have helped me with a lot of things including events, selling merchandise and such like.

“It’s been stressful in terms of the amount of things needing done, but it’s been relatively smooth sailing I would say.

WATCH: Mark Garside chats to Belfast Giants TV

“Giants not playing at the weekend has certainly helped, especially this week getting the last jersey sponsorships put on line and doing a lot of social media and advertising.

“I’ve been lucky because Sheds (Colin Shields) and Stephen Murphy have had testimonials themselves so they’ve been good in helping me and keeping me right in organising things, especially at the start and showed how things worked for them.”

Garside joined the Giants in 2010, moving to Northern Ireland after starting out with Edinburgh Capitals, following his coach, Doug Christiansen.

He’s seen it all with the club and won three leagues title and two Challenge Cup, not to mention almost 40 competitive appearances for the Great Britain national team.

And Garside says it’s always been a privilege to wear the teal of the Belfast Giants and revealed what will happen next after the celebrations are over.

Garside has played under five coaches in ten years in Belfast (PHOTO: William Cherry/Press Eye)

He added: “I’m very excited and we’ve got quite a few guys coming back for it.  It’ll be great to catch up with old friends and celebrate ten years with a club that’s been pretty special.

“I think back to when I first came here after moving from Edinburgh and I was struck by the bigger crowd, compared to what I was used to in Edinburgh.  I just remember being excited and coming out to the big crowd.

“Nowadays, you get used to it, but it’s still just as exciting going out in front of the fans at the SSE Arena and the noise from them.

“It’s always been a big privilege for me to play for the Giants and to do so for so long makes it even more special.

“One thing I always wanted to do playing for the Giants is compete for trophies and I’ve been lucky enough to do that.

“It’s going to be one hell of a night and should be a great night.  When it’s all over, I’ll probably be a little less stressed.  It’s a night to celebrate 10 years and from there, it’s back to work with the title up for grabs again.”

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