Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

Awada ready to go to work with Giants

George Awada will face the Edinburgh Capitals

Team captain George Awada will lead the Belfast Giants as they begin their challenge to regain the Elite League title on Saturday night.

The goalscoring winger missed last weekend's two pre-season exhibition games against Swedish side Huddinge because of a work permit problem, but he is now back in Belfast will all the appropriate paperwork in place. And that means he will be ready to face the Edinburgh Capitals at the Odyssey in the season opener, before a trip to Cardiff 24 hours later.

" George had to make an unplanned trip back to the United States with his work permit," said Giants general manager Todd Kelman.

"In previous years he has been back home for the summer and the work permit hasn't been a problem. When you play under a work permit you are meant to leave at the end of the season, but George got engaged and stayed, even though he wasn't working.

"We thought that we would just be able to send his work permit off to get it stamped, but then we were told that he had to go back to the United States to get the stamp on it himself, which we didn't expect.

"He flew over one day, got the stamp and flew back the next and has been practicing with the other guys this week. "

Troy Neumeier also missed the warm-up games as he didn't arrive in Belfast until Friday, but he did watch Saturday night's match and the vastly experienced defenceman will line-up against the Capitals for his Giants debut.

Neumeier will be one of seven Belfast Giants players making their debut.