Dom on 3-year extension.
First off I can’t say thank you enough to Graham and Carl for putting that much trust in me to return for 3 seasons as head coach. Last season was a taster and considered year 0 for me in my eyes. A building year to see how things would work and acclimatise myself to the league. There was a lot of travel involved and a lot of things that could have put me off but being in Blackburn with this organisation has only made me feel stronger in rejuvenating my love for the game and makes me want to stay here and call it my hockey home long term.
Myself and Ollie have developed a strong relationship. We both have a vision in how we want to work our way to silverware as well as help develop the talent in the U.K. All of our visions line up and with the support of Ollie behind the bench as my right hand man as well as the support our ownership team gives us I feel we can really do some damage in this league.
I have to also say thank you to Steve Hirst and Darren Wilson for their commitment to help us build our organisation through our younger players and Academy. Your hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed.
We all have developed an open relationship where nothing is hidden and everything gets put on the table whatever it may be. Our ownership group is second to none and clearly have one goal in mind and that’s to make the Hawks organisation long term sustainable. We are able to work freely as coaches and are able to hold each other as well as ourselves accountable to the best of our abilities to make Blackburn the best place to play at our level. This has already started to filter down into the players and it’s hard as a player not to hold yourself accountable when we have higher standards ourselves. It starts from the top down.
These next 3 seasons are going to define us as an organisation as well as a hockey team. There are levels we need to get too just like the players. We have to be patient and not skip the levels just like we preach to the players. Wear our mistakes and learn and grow from them. We’re taking it one day at a time. We have committed to 3 seasons and we will use every day down to the minute to work towards our vision as a club. We will improve everyday and that’s what will be scary to our opponents.
I say this to the players that are interested to coming to Blackburn. We will make this place a fortress and we will succeed in our vision to make this the best to team to play for in our league whether you want to be here long term or develop and get to the next level. We will support you with your hockey goals whatever they may be. It’s already started and have some exciting announcements to prove that.
Thank you again to the ongoing support from the fans and sponsors and a special thank you to my wife Sarah and daughter Isla for being there at all the home games to support me as I couldn’t do this without you guys.
Ollie on 3-year extension
I am delighted to accept the offer to extend my stay with the Hawks for three more years as Assistant Coach.
I believe that I am growing more into my role behind the bench all the time. I have had so much fun working with Ozzy & I feel we have created quite the dynamic as a coaching team.
To be given this length of contract from the owners just shows what our organization is all about. We are in it for the long haul, all of us. Be that coaches, players, owners, volunteers and more importantly supporters.
I have also dipped my toe into the academy side of things with Darren and Steve, long may that continue. A strong junior set up with a fantastic open relationship with the senior team is how good hockey people and culture is created. We feel that Blackburn is a very attractive to place to ply your trade, be it 6 years old or 25 years old.
The next three years are going to be full on for myself and Ozzy, it’s a lot more work than playing let me tell you that but it’s also the next best thing. We have put together a really young talented squad with a pathway in place to get them to the next level, I think the next few years sprinkled with a little more experience and strength we can really push toward silverware.
Without the support of my wife Nicole, and girls Layla & Freya this would all not be possible. They really are my biggest barometer. They let me know when I have done a good job and also when I have not. Joking aside they follow me and the club all over the country and I am so lucky to continue this journey with them by my side.
Let’s get at it.