Belfast Telegraph

Past failures driving Keefe on to complete the Grand Slam

 

Winning mentality: Belfast Giants head coach Adam Keefe
Winning mentality: Belfast Giants head coach Adam Keefe
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Belfast Giants head coach Adam Keefe says the hurt of not reaching Finals Weekend last season makes him determined to complete the domestic clean sweep this weekend in Nottingham.

The Elite League and Challenge Cup-winning Giants booked their spot in the Final Four with an emphatic 12-2 aggregate victory over Coventry Blaze and can now complete a Grand Slam if they add the play-off crown to their league and cup titles.

To do so, they'll need to beat the Guildford Flames in a rematch of the Challenge Cup final in Saturday's semi-final (1.00pm), with either league runners-up the Cardiff Devils or the Nottingham Panthers waiting in the decider, which will take place on Sunday.

Keefe insists that not being at Finals Weekend last year has given him some added personal motivation to get the job done this time around.

"Last year it wasn't fun sitting through the weekend and I'm really happy for this team in particular - one, because they'll get to experience the final four; and two, to have the chance to compete for another trophy," the Canadian head coach stated.

"I love (Finals Weekend). That's actually a positive for this club, anytime we've played in an atmosphere that's been great, our guys have performed really well. They're going to experience a great atmosphere in Nottingham so we're looking forward to it."

Should the Giants complete the rare feat of winning every domestic trophy on offer it would cap off a memorable and historic season for the SSE Arena club.

With only two games standing between them and near perfection on the season as a whole - the only trophy they failed to capture was the Continental Cup - coach Keefe has called on his players to give it everything they've got in their bid for a fourth trophy.

"It's been a perfect season so far and we want to give it our all and empty the tank in Nottingham," insists Keefe, who has now won four pieces of silverware in just two seasons in charge in Belfast.

"We have a lot of players who won't play (for us) next season, so it's important we empty the tank for them and each other.

"That includes me as well and everyone else involved - leave it all out there."

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