Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 29 November 2014

Belfast Giants: Stewart will sound out Whistle for testimonial

Man of honour: Rob Stewart will be recognised in February
Man of honour: Rob Stewart will be recognised in February

Rob Stewart is hoping to reunite the Belfast Giants team that won the first silverware in the club's history for his testimonial match next year.

And the first person he wants to pencil in for his big night is Dave Whistle, the man who coached the Giants to Super League glory in 2002 before lifting the Play-off title a year later.

It was Whistle who brought his close friend Stewart to Belfast when he was handed the job as the first Giants coach back in 2000 and 13 years he is still part of the club.

Now assistant coach to Paul Adey, Stewart is also instrumental in the Junior Giants set-up and he is the only man to be involved in every trophy success in the club's history, be it as a player or part of the coaching staff.

"I am excited and I think that having a testimonial match is something that every player looks forward to," said Stewart, who will have his service to the Giants recognised on Tuesday, February 18.

"It is nice to be honoured in such a way and whenever other guys have had testimonials it's been great to see the old players come back and to have some fun with them again – and to do it on the ice.

"The guys all love getting back together to remember the times when we played here and if you can play a bit of hockey at the same time that just makes it even better."

Stewart hasn't yet received conformation from any of his old team-mates that they will be in Belfast in February, but players like Jeff Hoad, Mark Cavallin, Sean Berens, Kevin Riehl, Paxton Schulte, Colin Ward, Jason Ruff and Curtis Bowen are on his wanted list.

"I would like to get the guys I played with in the early days back," said Stewart.

"It's not easy because a lot of them have commitments with teams they are coaching and other things.

"I will be making contact with Dave Whistle. He is the big one that I would like to have back."

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