Uncertainty makes way for optimism
Sep 15 2010 by Steve Brown, The Journal
JUST months ago, the future of Newcastle Vipers looked in doubt and yesterday, general manager Jaimie Longmuir admitted there were times that he feared the franchise might fold.
Now, the club’s future is a whole lot brighter.
Long, long summer days of sacrifice and slog have ensured the Vipers remain afloat, and poised to start a new Elite League season at Sheffield Steelers on Saturday, with the return leg at Whitley Bay Ice Rink on Sunday (face off 5.30pm).
Before then, the Vipers contest local bragging rights with rink-mates Whitley Warriors – English National League champions – in a pre-season exhibition match at the Hillheads venue tonight (7.30pm).
And with his never-wilting belief rewarded by the “real lift” of a season-long ‘home’ at Whitley, along with the buoyancy brought to the club by chairman Paddy O’Connor and new player-coach Danny Stewart, Longmuir is looking forward to an exciting new chapter in the Vipers’ story.
“The end of last season was a little uncertain and we didn’t know what was going to happen in terms of the venue,” Longmuir admitted.
“But as soon as we got the venue sorted, and with Paddy coming back to the club as chairman, it’s really been a breath of fresh air.
“Bringing Danny in, he’s been terrific to work with and with so many new faces I think it’s given everyone at the club a real lift. It’s an exciting new chapter.