Tuesday 2 July 2024

Deeside Ducks Announce Lead Coach Staff For Debut Season

The Deeside Ducks have announced their lead coaching staff for their debut 2024/25 NIHL season.

The Head Coach will be Gary Shaw backed up by Peter Bleackley as a lead coach, who both have long associations with the Deeside club in playing and coaching capacities.

Shaw was a highly rated player with the Deeside Dragons and Flintshire Freeze ENL/NIHL teams over a 20 year period and was more recently Head Coach of the Dragons for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons.  Last season, he was Head Coach of the Dragons Under 18 team that finished 6th in the U18 North 2 league table.

Peter Bleackley also has a huge amount of experience, having played and coached at Blackpool, Fylde, Blackburn, Widnes and Deeside over the years. He is a specialist netminding coach and has also been Head Coach of junior teams at Widnes and Deeside.

Talk about coaching the new team, Gary Shaw said:

“I am pleased to be given this opportunity to help develop the players from their current levels to enhance their skills, knowledge and experience and to push forward and advance their opportunities to play in the senior Dragons team.”

“This Ducks team will be predominantly U23 with at least a third being U19.  Some older players will be asked to play and their role will be to support the youth of the team and help with their progression.  The aim is to ultimately push for places in the Dragons senior team and on to higher levels such as England and Premier.”

“While winning is the aim of all teams, there are many different ways to win, so we will focus on all aspects required to advance our squad and, if we achieve the win on the scoreboard, it is a bonus for the team.” 

Peter Bleackley added:

“I’m really looking forward to getting back to coaching after a few years’ break. Gary, Simon and I have all coached and played hockey together, so as a coaching team we have a good understanding of our joint goals for the season ahead.”

“A Deeside D2 development team is a great opportunity for our juniors to gain a pathway into senior hockey. Many juniors - especially those that start playing hockey in their teens - aren’t ready for D1 and either drop out of the sport or play Recreational hockey when they age out of our junior system.”

“There’s a good buzz around the rink for the upcoming season and the new team will be an opportunity for players to showcase their skills and get valuable experience of regular competitive hockey at a senior level.”

An announcement regarding the Assistant Coaches will follow tomorrow (Wednesday).

You can follow the progress of the new Deeside Ducks team as they prepare for their debut season in the NIHL Laidler Division on their Facebook page HERE