Belfast Giants savour title but target treble success
Paul Adey is in no doubt that his Belfast Giants players will know when to draw a line under their Elite League title winning celebrations.
The joy of clinching the crown last weekend hasn't yet abated and captain Adam Keefe will get to raise the Monteith Bowl above his head in a party atmosphere at the Odyssey this evening, with the match against Coventry Blaze (7pm) something of a sideshow.
Their record breaking achievement of taking the title with 10 games to go means a month of just fulfilling league fixtures.
Adey though wants the team to milk the title-winning celebrations this weekend, but the coach is also expecting a professional attitude from the team, with a two-legged Challenge Cup final to come against the Nottingham Panthers, as well as the Play-offs at the end of March.
"We want to keep doing well, but it's important that the players enjoy the moment too and that they get time to take in what has been a great accomplishment," said Adey.
"They deserve to celebrate what they have worked so hard for six months to achieve.
"The trophy comes after the game though and the players will want to go out and win the game."
Keefe has made no secret of his desire to keep the run of success going in order to make this the most successful season in Giants history.
Adey hasn't delivered any rousing speeches about keeping focus on the treble – that's because he doesn't feel that he needs to as all the players are well aware that there is still more to be achieved.
"The players know that there are still some pretty big challenges ahead," said Adey.
"We are on a really good run and we want to keep that going.
"You can't turn performances on and off. Knowing this group of players they will not change anything. They will still be ultra-professional when the games come around because they will want to keep playing at their best right until the end of the season."
Tonight will be a memorable one for Adey, but he prefers to think about the significance of the occasion for Keefe rather than himself.
"It will be a special moment for Adam Keefe to lift the trophy as captain," said Adey.
"It keeps a tradition going of every Giants captain winning something and it's nice that Adam will have that and he deserves his moment."
e THE dates have been announced for the Challenge Cup final between the Belfast Giants and Nottingham Panthers.
The first leg will be at the Odyssey on Friday, March 21 – replacing a league game between the teams previously set for that date – with the return in Nottingham on Tuesday, March 25.
The league game against Nottingham has been rearranged for Wednesday, March 12.