Braehead Clan’s departing captain Matt Keith has paid tribute to former coach Ryan Finnerty.
The 34-year-old spoke to Clan Radio about his decision to leave the club after three years, where he led them to three Gardiner Conference titles.
“Ryan’s been great since day one and he’s treated my wife, Chelsea and I with the greatest of respect and has been very kind to us,” Keith said.
“He was the head coach at Braehead Clan, but he did a lot of things behind the scenes that I don’t think people realise – he cared a lot about his job.
“Our relationship was always an honest one and he put a lot of trust in me by putting a letter on my jersey. I always went out to do my best in that role.
“In the way the three seasons went, we went close in the first year, there were a few more lows in the second year, but last year, we didn’t win as much as we would have liked.
“I don’t think I produced as well as I could have, but our relationship was always good. We had our battles, but it was because we cared about what was best for the team.
“I never, ever lost respect for Ryan or the way he coached and I admired the heart and effort he put into Braehead Clan.”
Keith confirmed he hasn’t quite called time on his playing career, although he has made plans for life outside the game.
“Overall, as a family, we’ve really enjoyed our time and met some great people, with whom we’ve become great friends.
“To move on to the next chapter of your life, it’s hard, but at the same time, it’s exciting and you never know what’s next.
“I wasn’t putting out a retirement statement, but at the same time, I’m aiming to pursue becoming a firefighter in Vancouver, which has been a dream of mine.
“As far as retiring goes, I’ve always thought that maybe this could be my last year, but I never said to anybody as I was never 100 percent sure.
“Even now, you’d never want to close the door on a chance of playing again, but as things stand, I’m focused on going home and looking at the next stage of my life.
“It’s been a great experience, with some ups and downs. I look back and wonder if we’d got that extra point in my first year to win the league and not making the play-off weekend in my time here.
“But overall, there’s been way more positives and negative and it’s always been special.”
(Image permission: Al Goold Photo)