Gary Jackson is pleased to see the Giants come back to the SSE Arena in such fine form, but there is still a lot of work to do.
By the time you read this, the Belfast Giants will have completed one of the most grueling road trips in the EIHL. Sunday 14th October Giants bested Nottingham Panthers 6-1 in our last home game. That result set us up for the gigantic road trip 17 games, including trips to League and Playoff champions, Cardiff, old rivals Nottingham, a double header at resurgent Sheffield, and trips to all the Scottish teams.
I write this 8th December, a couple of hours before Guildford host our Teal Heroes, but as it stands we have a massive 12 wins from the 16 road games.
Giants sit proud atop the league table, no team can catch us purely on games in hand, if they want this position… they need to do it the old fashioned way. Our road trip has set us up as we approach the second half of the season a solid foundation to build on. It’s not going to be plain sailing, there is a feeling amongst some in the Giants fan base that if we return from this road trip in good position it will be precessional to the end of the season.
Yes, we are in a good position, yes we have done most of our travelling already, but we have to be aware that in recent seasons Giants home form has been less than desirable. There’s been a pressure playing at the Odyssey that for one reason or another the boys have not been able to deal with. This team, however, feels different.
This month alone, we have 5 games in 9 days, in January we have 2 home double headers against the Steelers and Flyers, not to mention the small matter of a double in Cardiff Bay! And in the middle of all this, there’s something called a Continental Cup Super Final….
The G.Org are doing everything they can to fill the arena for these games, offering “Black Friday,” deals for all games in January. Its our job, Belfast, to welcome our heroes home.
It’s all well and good filling the arena, but that wont help if we all sit on our hands. Players and officials alike have been quick to point out how loud and proud the Teal Army has been on the travels, no more so than last weekend in Sheffield. If a couple of hundred fans in the big tin shed can make it feel like a home crowd… I want to know what 4/5000+ fans can do in Belfast on any given Saturday night.
We have our part to play as much as the boys on the ice. Lets get out of our seats, shake off those Christmas party hangovers, be loud, be proud, be EXTRA proud. This season above many others, we have a team who just wont be beaten, lets honour them with a run in that people will talk about in years to come in the same way as I still talk about the second and third seasons of Giants hockey, let’s make this season…. The good auld days!
Words: Gary Jackson Photos: William Cherry / PressEye
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PODCAST: Captain, Coach, Century – This Week’s A View From The Bridge chats to Adam Keefe, Omar Pacha and Aaron Murphy. The Lads look at the weekends split weekend with Sheffield and the Challenge Cup romp in Dundee, they also discuss the Player of the Month contenders.
A View From The Bridge Podcast, Official Podcast of the Belfast Giants, part of Kingdom Of The Giants.