Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Thornton is in no mood to rush

The Belfast Giants will face -off for the Elite League season this weekend without a captain in place.

Player-coach Steve Thornton led his team into pre-season action in Dundalk at the weekend without any letters being displayed on the jerseys.

And it may be the away double header in Newcastle on the third weekend of the campaign before a new skipper is named.

“As far as selecting a captain I don’t think a decision will be make for about three weeks,” said Thornton.

“It is a big decision and it’s one that I want to get right.

“There are a few leaders on the team, a few candidates for the C and I want to see who comes to the fore now that we are getting down to serious practice and preparing to start the league.”

George Awada — who was captain during the three years which Ed Courtenay was in charge of the Giants — is still in the team, while his predecessor Shane Johnson is another who Thornton re-signed.

And he admits that Awada is very much in the running to keep the job.

“Having George back was something I wanted to do from I took the job,” said Thornton.

“I know his qualities from having played against him and he is a natural leader.

“He is a candidate along with a few others and I will simply take my time and wait until I have the right person in mind.”

Saturday night’s Odyssey opener against the Edinburgh Capitals is one of the most eagerly awaited curtain raisers in years, with player-coach Steve Thornton putting his new look team on the ice, with just five of last season’s team back in the teal, red and white this time around.

There will be home debuts for no less than eight players, with Colin Shiels and Paul Sample both beginning second spells with the Giants.

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