Adam Keefe has been appointed as Belfast Giants’ new Head Coach.
Keefe takes over the role from Derrick Walser, who left the club at the end of last season after leading the club to second place in the Elite League and the play-offs.
The 33-year-old says he wants to make the SSE Arena a place for opposition players to fear when they visit next season.
“I know what the fans and this city expects with regards to trophies,” said Keefe. “I know what is expected of me and I look forward to the challenge – I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
“Years ago our arena was known as a tough place to come into – teams knew they were going to pay the price when they came here with a hard fought game.
“I’d like to bring that back and make it tough for teams to come in here and win hockey games.
“I’m a big believer in relentless puck pursuit with fast physical hockey and an Adam Keefe team competes hard every single night.
“It’s not easy to win in this league and a consistent work ethic will carry us through.”
Popular for his no-nonsense style of play on the ice, Keefe established himself as a favourite among fans and in the locker room since arriving at the Giants in 2011.
“He’s served as alternate captain, captain as well as assistant coach, playing over 350 games in all competitions and winning the Elite League twice, in 2012 and 2014.
His appointment was greeted by Head of Hockey Operations, Steve Thornton, who believes he’s found the right man for the job.
“I’m delighted that Adam accepted the position of Head Coach,” he said. “Adam understands what it means to be a Giant and what the Giants mean to the community.
“He is one of the best leaders that I have seen and coaching is in his bloodlines. This is something that he has been prepping for and he knows what it takes to win in this league.
“We are confident that we have found the right man for the job.”