Paisley Pirates’ boss Ian Turley hailed his team’s character after seeing them end the year by moving back to the top of the SNL table.
The Pirates’ 8-5 victory over Kirkcaldy Kestrels came despite a lengthy injury list which left Turley scrambling around to meet the minimum of 12 skaters for the game.
“Some players, when they realised the extent of the injury list, said they’d turn up anyway and see how it went,” said Turley.
“Those at the game witnessed one of the most courageous performances it’s been my privilege to participate in as the Pirates’ coach.
“Stuart Miller had an upper body injury and said he’d try the warm up to see how it was. He finished up scoring two goals and got two assists while in considerable pain, aggravating his condition to the point where he’ll now need to listen to medical advice and is out indefinitely.
“Chris Turley also pulled a shirt on against medical advice not to play before the New Year at the earliest, following an injury which required surgery some weeks ago.
“About 80 percent of the team had been struck down with a virus, but the guys turned out when they were not fit.
“While it showed at times, I have nothing but the highest possible regard for every single one of them who stepped up to the plate when the circumstances required it.
“The players not carrying injuries, and there weren’t many of them, dug deep for the cause and were absolutely exhausted at the end of what was a very tough game against very good opponents.
“They say you find out more about people in times of adversity and I certainly found out a lot about my players on Sunday.
“I think for some of the new players it really hit home exactly what the expectations are when playing for the Pirates and what being part of this club means to everyone.
“Particularly in the latter stages of the match, when the boys were getting tired, the noise and the support coming from the stands helped lift the players.
“They can and should take a huge amount of confidence from their performance knowing that they can reach the levels they achieved on Sunday under the most trying of circumstances.”
(Image permission: Al Goold Photo)