FORMER Braehead Clan coach Bruce Richardson admits the pressure of getting the first win for a brand new team made him nervous.

It’s 10 years ago this weekend when the Elite League side, now called Glasgow Clan, made their competitive debut and picked up two points in a 5-3 win over Dundee Stars on Tayside to get them off and running.

And Richardson recalled that first night and the range of emotions he felt when his team took to the ice and his own thoughts as he made his debut as a coach in his own right after two years as an assistant at Nottingham Panthers.

“I won’t lie. I was nervous before that game in Dundee,” Richardson revealed. “This was my first ever game as a player-coach in my own right and all the decisions I made had an impact on the game so it gave me a little added pressure to get it right.

“It wasn’t like when I was at Nottingham, where I was number two to Corey Neilson and I would give him my input then he had to make the decision.  The main thing for me was bringing in mature guys with the right mind set and the right attitude.

“It was easier to send the message and for them to understand it because of their experience so my nervousness came from worrying it would take ten games to click as a group.  Getting the first win helped to take the pressure away.”

Richardson, who now coaches Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the Quebec Major Junior League, stayed for a season, taking Clan to fifth place in a decent first campaign for an expansion team before returning to Canada.

He remains a popular figure among fans for his role in bringing ice hockey back to the West of Scotland eight years after the Ayr Scottish Eagles folded as well as the team he brought together, still revered by older Purple Army fans today.

But Richardson admits he had to be creative with the truth when it came to persuading players to come to what was a new team, having not seen the environment he had to work and he’s also left the door open to returning to these shores one day too.

He added: “I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.  I had to try and sell a product that I had no clue about.  I was in Montreal trying to sign players, but I couldn’t tell them anything about Glasgow.

“When I was recruiting, I called up Jon Landry, who was a player I knew with a good resume and I was telling him that coming to Braehead would be good for his career and that kind of stuff to convince him to sign for me.

“He then asked me about how the city was and the rink and I admitted to him that I’d never been.  I had to lie a bit to guys like him and tell them they would get quality minutes and hope everything worked out.  Thankfully it did.

“For me, the door has never closed on a return to the UK, if the right offer came along.  My objective has always been to coach in the NHL and that was the reason I returned to Canada.  I was given an opportunity to start on that road and I’ve been coaching major junior for the last five years.

“If the path I’m on doesn’t materialise in time, then I’d certainly be open to coming back to the Elite League.  You never know what life throws at you and my time there was so positive, it’s certainly one I would consider.”