ClubSigning NewsHawks Set Elite Standard

September 18, 20200

Blackburn Hawks Ice Hockey Club are delighted to be able to announce that the new Head of Coaching for the forthcoming season is…….

Ryan Finnerty.

When the new owners heard of the news that the Elite League maybe suspended/cancelled, Carl Everitt contacted Ryan and asked for his coaching support with the Hawks, having got to know Ryan a little through charity events. Understandably Ryan wouldn’t commit to anything else until the EIHL came to their decision. Now that has been confirmed, we are over the moon to bring all of our excited fans the great news.

Ryan will Co-Coach alongside the other members of the coaching team.

Ryan brings to the club a wealth of experience in Hockey not only as a Coach but as a GM of an Elite League franchise.

Ryan played minor hockey within the Alberta AAA Midget Hockey League for the Monarch Cable TV Tigers signing with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League (WHL). He played three games for the Medicine Hat Tigers during the 1997–1998 season before joining, the Camrose Kodiaks. He was eventually recalled to the WHL where he recorded his first major junior goal in a 3–2 win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes on October 29, 1997 Finnerty joined the Peoria Rivermen of the ECHL for two seasons, playing a total of 119 games and earning 302 penalty minutes, before signing with the San Angelo Saints, Victoria Salmon Kings and South Carolina Stingrays. While with the Saints in the Central Hockey League, Finnerty was named team captain to begin their 2003–04 season. He returned to the ECHL on September 13, 2005 to the South Carolina Stingrays.

Ryan originally hails from Lethbridge Alberta Canada and came to the UK in 2006 playing for the Sheffield Steelers before joining Cardiff Devils were he was installed as Captain. He has also had a spell playing in Italy.

In 2011 he was appointed as a Player Coach returning back to the Steelers before being asked to be Head Coach of Braehead Clan in Glasgow in 2013 until 2017 when he then joined his current club Manchester Storm as GM/Head Coach.

Ryan commented:

“Under these unique circumstances, I was thrilled when Carl asked if I’d come over and help with the Coaching of the Hawks. I am looking forward to working with the “Coaching team” and developing my own skills further. I have had the pleasure of knowing Carl for a while now and I can see how much passion both him and Graham have for the club. I hope I can help develop the players and I look forward to meeting all those passionate fans and hopefully see some old faces from the Storm”.

Hawks Co-Owner Graham Lomax had the following to say about the appointment:

“First of all we think it’s only fair to go on record and thank ALL of the applicants for their interest in the position of Head Coach at Blackburn Hawks, we’ve spoken to them all individually and told them the same.

The last few weeks has been a bit silly really, there have been times were we’ve been on the brink of announcements and then at the eleventh hour the landscape has changed. There have been disappointments, there’s been highs, and then there’s been lows, and at times we’ve felt like jugglers or those guys that spin plates but all the time we’ve stayed positive and held our nerve and remained patient. We had to get the right guy, and I’m sure everyone will agree Ryan is most definitely the right man to help both our coaching and playing teams to develop for the future.

We’ve set the bar high in every department of the business including all of the appointments to date and because of our dedication and professional approach we can now proudly announce that Ryan has decided to join us as our new Head of Coaching. Not only will he help the Co-Coaches deliver a product on the ice, he has also kindly agreed to help develop our coaching team so the club is set up for years to come. Ryan has a vast amount of experience in all areas of Hockey as the Manchester Storm General Manager, and both Carl and I will continue to feed off his experience.

When I first met Ryan, I was blown away by his down to earth attitude but also with his enthusiasm to join us. Both Carl and I are salesmen at heart, but trust me there was no sales pitch. Ryan was happy to support us, should he become available. I had to pinch myself to be honest.

I’m a firm believer that in life circumstances dictate in any situation and this is most certainly a case in point.

Ryan’s home and family are in the North West, The Elite League is likely to be shut down for the season, and we’re a club in transition with a very professional attitude with drive and a desire to build. Because of this, it’s a good fit for both parties and I know Ryan feels that the Arena is a fantastic facility too which also helps.

It is hoped that as soon as the Rinks are back open to spectators we can start putting our plans into practice, we do have a timeline of events, but at the moment our hands are somewhat tied behind our backs and we can’t implement these just yet.

So on behalf of the owners, the staff, the volunteers and you the fans, I’d like to extend a warm East Lancashire welcome to…..

Ryan Finnerty,

Blackburn Hawks – Head of Coaching.

The Blackburn Hawks are currently welcoming resumes from potential players. Should an opportunity with the Blackburn Hawks be of interest to you, please contact our General Manager, Dean Worrall via dean.worrall@blackburnhawks.com

Watch this space for more news of the Hawks Coaching Team at 11am today…!

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