Former Belfast Giants forward Sebastien Sylvestre says winning the Continental Cup this weekend would mean everything to the fans.
Adam Keefe’s men are back on the European stage as they play host for the final group stage, where they’ll aim to be the second British side to win the competition.
And Sylvestre, who played against his former team in the previous round for EBEL side Medvescak Zagreb, reckons they have a good chance to do it.
“It was awesome to be back in Belfast in the last round and it was fun to be playing in front of the fans there again,” he said.
“Sadly my team didn’t get the result we wanted, but I’m pleased the Giants are in the final.
“For the fans, winning the Continental Cup would mean everything to them. They’re really into their team and they push them in wins and in losses.
“I know they would be happy if they won the trophy, but would still appreciate if they weren’t to be successful. They’re great for the team and the team will want to win it for them.
“Playing at home will give them an advantage and with those fans, it’s like another player for them and can give momentum to the team.
“Other than Katowice, who we played in the last round, I don’t know about the other teams, but with the speed and the leadership they have, I’m sure they can be victorious this weekend.”
WATCH: Giants blank Zagreb in Continental Cup opener
Sylvestre was part of Keefe’s side that won the Challenge Cup last season before moving to the Croatian outfit in the summer, which led to his return in the semi final group in November.
A dire financial situation meant he moved on weeks later and signed for DEL2 side Kassel Huskies in Germany.
He admits he still follows his old team and revealed he would have loved another return to Northern Ireland this weekend, preferably with Zagreb had things worked out differently.
He added: “You can see everyone has bought into the system and they’re playing for each other.
“I’m following them on Instagram and I can see that they fight for each other and I’m sure they will do fine this weekend.
“Do I wish I was still there for this weekend? Yes and no. I’m not looking back and I’m really happy with the decisions I’ve made.
“I left Belfast and went to Zagreb, where I enjoyed it although the situation I found myself in was harder than I expected and I’ve since moved to Germany, which I’m enjoying right now.
“For the fans and the players there, I’d have loved to have got there with Zagreb for the finals and enjoy that atmosphere again.
“I’m really happy for the Giants and I wish them the best of luck this weekend.”