Belfast Telegraph

Matt Pelech named captain as Belfast Giants confirm leadership group

Belfast Giants defenceman Matt Pelech battles against Herning Blue Fox's Victor Andersen (William Cherry/Presseye)
Belfast Giants defenceman Matt Pelech battles against Herning Blue Fox's Victor Andersen (William Cherry/Presseye)
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

The Belfast Giants have confirmed that defenceman Matt Pelech will captain the side for the 2019/20 season.

The 31-year-old Canadian takes over the role from Blair Riley, who left the side for the Cardiff Devils in the off-season, and becomes the 10th player to captain the team.

Pelech has previous captaincy experience having been an alternate with the Worcester Sharks in the AHL and with German side Schwenninger Wild Wings, however this is the first time he's been awarded the "C".

An outgoing personality, who has already established himself as a leader within the locker room and as a fan favourite, Pelech looks to be a strong choice as captain by head coach Adam Keefe.

Indeed, it is interesting to note the similarities in the two, with Keefe having served as Giants captain for x years having played a similar no-holds barred style on the ice and been a respected figure off it as well.

The Giants also confirmed their alternate captains alongside Pelech, with the former NHLer set to be ably assisted by winger Liam Reddox and defensive pair Curtis Leonard and Kevin Raine.

Reddox was one of the pre-season favourites to take on a leadership role given his four years' experience as captain of Swedish giants Vaxjo Lakers, and he will bring vast experience to the role.

It's a second year as an alternate captain at the SSE Arena for Leonard, who held the same role last season and was a strong voice in the locker room during the treble winning campaign.

And Raine steps up into a leadership role for the first time in Belfast after becoming one of the most respected figures on the roster on his return to the team last season, which he has so far carried through into this campaign.

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