Belfast Telegraph

Giants boss bids for cup glory ... before finally celebrating his wedding

By Stuart McKinley

Adam Keefe will have the full backing of Belfast Giants supporters when he tries to end the club's four-year trophy famine tomorrow - including from his number one fan.

Not one to settle for equilibrium, his playing style as a tough enforcer during a 12-year professional ice hockey career saw him do things and go places that others wouldn't - regularly coming out with cuts and bruises - and getting a new job last summer wasn't enough for him to contend with.

Within a couple of months of swapping his role as captain of the Giants to becoming head coach he decided to get married to the local girl he had met when she worked as a physio with the team. And for good measure they tied the knot just days before the start of the season.

The timescale meant that there was no time for a proper party - indeed Adam left new wife Colleen early the next morning to conduct a training session at the Dundonald Ice Bowl.

Now he is hoping for a double celebration by leading the Giants to Challenge Cup success against the Cardiff Devils and then toasting his marriage with friends and family at the end of the season.

"It was only really organised about a month prior. We didn't wanted to make a big deal of it and it just made sense for us to get it done. We're not into big public weddings or that kind of thing, but we had a really enjoyable and fun day," said Adam. "Unfortunately my family couldn't be here for it, but we'll have a party with them and celebrate.

"It was a good time, a good day and the only thing that was tough about it was getting up for practice the next morning, but that's us. We're out there and crazy and do things on a whim."

Watching events in Cardiff tomorrow evening from afar will be Adam's family back in Brampton, Ontario - a 40-minute drive from central Toronto and an hour and a half away from the famous Niagara Falls.

Among them will be his elder brother Sheldon. He fulfilled every Canadian youngster's dream when he made it into the NHL - the world's top ice hockey league - and as coach of the Toronto Marlies, an affiliate club of the Toronto Maple Leafs, he has been a valuable resource for Adam to tap into as he takes the first steps on the coaching ladder.

"My brother played, he is four years older than me and it was just a natural progression that I was going to play as well," said Adam.

"I spoke to my brother quite a bit last summer because he has obviously been through everything - although he would have to go back into the basics of where he started out which would have been 10 years or more when he started coaching at junior level," added Adam.

"He had to bring himself back to that to give me pointer, but he has been a big help to me."

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