Belfast Giants head coach Adam Keefe’s older brother says he’s ready to help him – but he doesn’t think he’ll need it.
Sheldon Keefe is a coach in his own right and has just ended his second season in charge of AHL side Toronto Marlies, who were beaten in the Calder Cup Division Finals by Syracuse Crunch last week.
“Adam was given the chance before and he declined because he was still playing and didn’t think he was ready,” said Keefe.
“The fact he’s been presented with this opportunity again just shows how much he’s valued by the Giants.
“They stayed with it, gave him another chance and stayed loyal to him. That speaks a lot about the people that are running the Belfast Giants.
“Adam knows and I’ve made it clear to him that I’ll be available whenever he feels he needs something, but it’s important he feels ready for this and he finds his own way.
“He has lasting relationships with anyone he’s ever come across in the game and that’s one thing I’ve learned in professional hockey. He’s left an impression and has no shortage of support.
“That speaks volumes about his character. I’m here to help him whenever he needs it, but I think he’s prepared and doesn’t need to me on speed dial. He has a good head on him.
Keefe also believes there is one attribute that can make his brother successful as he makes the adjustment to life behind the bench rather than on the ice.
He added: “The first thing I think would make him successful is work ethic. With everything that I’ve already described that he had to do, the commitment he’s shown to off ice fitness and training is exceptional.
“He plays hard every day and he doesn’t any other way than going full out, so he will give everything to commit to being the best coach possible.
“He’s also incredibly honest and sincere – he cares about people and is a very reliable and trustworthy person and his players will trust he’ll do everything he can for the team to succeed.”
(Image permission: Carlos Osario/Toronto Star)