The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild’s new head coach Mike Clancy took over the reins at his new club at the weekend, meeting with players and club officials at Planet Ice Widnes to set out his vision for the season ahead.
He started off by announcing his coaching team, with the appointment of two highly respected and experienced Assistant Coaches.
Richard Charles will not be a stranger to Wild fans, having been with the club since its first season – initially as a player and more recently as assistant coach where he has worked successfully with respective head coaches Mark Gillingham, Scott McKenzie and Ollie Barron.
The second Assistant Coach is Mike’s younger brother Dave Clancy – who many people will know from his associations as netminder with the Deeside Dragons and Blackburn Hawks over the years and who is now also involved in coaching at England Junior level and with the Team GB women’s international team.
The new head coach has high hopes for the team this year and has instigated numerous changes already. The Wild team will now train two nights a week – on Tuesday and Thursdays – and the coaching systems used will be greatly enhanced.
He also intends to run two trials sessions for potential new players during July and hopes to play several pre-season challenge matches to get the Wild off to a running start ready for when the Laidler Division season proper gets underway.
When asked about his initial impressions of the club and what his first jobs would be, Clancy said:
“It’s an absolutely fantastic facility and I am really looking forward to getting started with the Team and the Group. It is great to meet so many volunteers that are here for the Wild.”
“I want to start off by setting out the level of professionalism that I want from a Club like this. There will be a lot of things I change in structure and I think it is really important to liaise with the Club’s volunteers and the support group and set the scene for how I want to take the season forward.”
Commenting on his hopes for the season ahead, Clancy said:
“I really want to build on what Ollie Barron and the group achieved last year. I am keeping the core of the team, which is the right thing, and the introduction of a few new faces will help encourage competition for places.”
“I want to progress personally as a coach and I think I will be able to do that at The Wild. I have been really inspired by some of the conversations I have had with people at the Club and am very much looking forward to the challenge.”
Further information about the player trials and pre-season games will be posted once details are firmed up.
Report by Paul Breeze (www.icehockeyreview.co.uk)