The new season in Elite League ice hockey begins this Saturday as Braehead Clan take on Manchester Storm.

Starting this week, we’ll bring you the view from within the club and the dressing room as John Tripp embarks on his first campaign as Clan’s head coach.

Every week a different voice will speak in the Evening Times so don’t miss your chance to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life at Braehead.

Unlike this first taster, it will not be available online, so grab yourself a copy! 

This week, Tripp talks about first impressions of the Purple Army, McGregor/Mayweather and his hopes of having more players available for Saturday.


I’m still working on settling in, I’ve been busy with getting the team together and what not, but it’s been a lot of fun so far. It’s been a good transition for me.

I got my first taste of the Purple Army on Saturday and I think the crowds at the weekend were nice. I knew there was a good fan base here when I agreed to come. 

I didn’t expect a sell-out for exhibition games, but the crowd we got was good to see. The team needs it, without the fans there aren’t teams and it’s the same for every sport.

Seeing Paul Gardner, Frankfurt’s coach, was great and he’s someone I’ve kept in touch with since we worked together in Hamburg. 

He’s an extremely nice guy and I was glad to see the success he’s had the last couple of years.  It was good for the fans here to see him again after his short spell a few years ago.

From a hockey point of view, seeing Frankfurt in this country was good.  I’ve been in Germany for a long time and I know the fans had a great time over there this weekend.

The noise they created and the party atmosphere they brought is normal in Germany.  When I played in Cologne, they averaged 14,000 fans a game and sometimes, 20,000.

It’s almost like a soccer mentality where they bring their flags.  But they build their arenas a little differently over there.

Behind both nets, it’s standing room only and no seats so changes the atmosphere and it’s pretty cool.

Between the games, there was the big fight and I’m not a boxing man as such as I think it’s gone down since the Klitschko brothers, who I got to know when I was in Germany.

If it’s not an American champion, it kind of loses its thing for me, but I am into UFC so the fight on Saturday was one of the biggest things going on.

I just watched the highlights on Sunday morning and as much as I like it, I don’t like it enough to stay up till 5am and watch it.

The work load is reduced a little because of everything we’ve put into the last couple of weeks, plus three games over five days, you have to be careful.

If we can get some guys in, great, but if we can’t, then we’ll use the Challenge Cup as a learning curve for experience and see how this week progresses and who we get in.

The series of road games coming up because of the situation with the arena is certainly a challenge and if you don’t win those games, you don’t win the league.

It’s very important and I think it’ll be good for the guys.  We’ll get a home stint further down the line so it works out both ways.