Russell praises Freiburg Covid safety work

Pete Russell is leaving Freiburg at the end of the season (PHOTO: Dean Woolley)

EHC Freiburg coach Pete Russell has paid tribute to the management team and club’s board for getting their home rink ready for the start of the new delayed DEL2 season.

Russell, who is also head coach of the GB men’s team, addressed the fans with an open letter to give insight into how his club have prepared for the new season, which is due to begin two weeks on Friday.

And he admits he’s pleased to be back working with this team as they turn their attention to the season opener against Heilbronner Falken, who have former Glasgow Clan and Sheffield Steelers forward Stefan Della Rovere in their ranks.

“The board of directors around President Michael Müller and Werner Karlin had to cope with one of the most difficult tasks I have ever experienced in my ice hockey career,” he said. 

“Starting with the end of the season, planning the summer break, postponing the start of the season, to working out the hygiene regulations are just a few aspects.

“In my opinion, everyone here has done an outstanding job under enormous pressure.  We are working hard as a team to do everything in our power to keep this ice hockey club moving forward.

“All is far from being good in the world we are in right now.  But I can tell you that every day it feels good to be on the ice with this team.  

“I feel very fortunate to be able to work with players every day who take a lot of inconvenience to protect each other and keep the team on the ice.”

Russell has had to wait for his second season in Germany after leading ‘Wolves’ to third place in the regular season, a marked improvement on their relegation near miss the season before and his reward was an extended contract.

Pete Russell’s Freiburg side open their DEL2 campaign against Heilbronner Falken two weeks on Friday (PHOTO: EHC Freiburg)

But he has urged the fans not to take the new safety measures lightly as the coronavirus continues to impact on the world and everyone’s way of life.

“Nothing is what it used to be,” Russell added. “We have three groups within the team, three different cabin areas and a lot of self-made rules that we have to strictly adhere to.  However, these are all measures that we are happy to take and respect in order to emerge stronger from this crazy time and this world in which we currently live.

“Fans who have already attended one of our pre-season games will have noticed the many new procedures and regulations for admission control, in the hall, during the game itself and when leaving the ice rink.  

“All of this has become the new standard and we can all adapt and learn to cope with it.  I appeal to you not to be negligent here because this is the only way we can fight the virus together and everyone has to do their part in order to meet this challenge.”

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