VORSPRUNG durch hard work is the new mantra sweeping through the corridors at Braehead Arena on the eve of a landmark campaign. That’s the pledge from hockey and operations director Gareth Chalmers who has promised a flavour of German efficiency in the ranks of the much-changed Elite League side.

New head coach John Tripp only flew in to Scotland in the last few weeks following 13 years in Germany with his adopted nation, one he went on to represent at international level at the Winter Olympics.

With him, the Ontario-born 40-year-old has brought with him a raft of players familiar with the hard graft associated with Deutsche Eishockey Liga, including goaltender Ryan Nie, centre Cameron Burt and wing Adam Brace, and it’s this hockey ethos that Chalmers is looking to instil at the Braehead Arena.

“I’m a big admirer of how the Germans play the game in terms of imports and how clubs are run,” explained the Englishman. “John ticks all the boxes. We want an exciting brand of hockey back here, get the buzz back here, and progress further than we did last year.

“I spoke to him quite a lot during the summer. I told him what we wanted to do in terms of the direction of the club in the pursuit of a trophy. I told him our blue-collar style of hockey, but we want to a European style of hockey here.

“We haven’t set any expectations. We always knew when we changed head coach it was going to be a building year. Any time when you change a head coach or a manager in any sport it will take time to implement his ideas and implement his authority.

“It would be a rebuild for the club on and off the ice. It doesn’t mean we don’t want to do well. We just need to keep our feet on the ground and it won’t happen overnight.

“John was the guy we wanted after all our feedback.”

For Braehead to grow, their path is becoming ever more difficult. With the likes of Belfast Giants, Sheffield Steelers, Nottingham Panthers and Elite League title holders the Cardiff Devils operating with a vastly-superior budget, those in charge up in Glasgow know they need to box clever to claw bag the disadvantage.

The handicap is largely due to the 3,500 arena Clan currently call home, a venue that, for all it’s excellent facilities, struggles to support the aspirations of Scotland’s fastest growing sporting organisation. With plans of a new Braehead Arena with double the capacity having been submitted over two years ago without any progress, Chalmers is aware of the challenges ahead.

He said: “The whole organisation needs to continue to grow. The progression in eight years since the club came into existence has been incredible but we are still a bit away from the big four, but we can bridge the gap.

“It’s about doing the little things. Nutrition and conditioning needed changing. For us to compete and bridge the gap it’s important that we find ways of doing it without spending money we don’t have. That’s what will help us win.

“Regarding the new arena, it can’t come quickly enough. A new building with extra seats brings more revenue that we can’t go after it right now. We still have a great building and we still have seats to fill.”

Turning his attention to the campaign opener this weekend against Manchester Storm, now managed by Ryan Finnerty, the previous Clan head coach, Chalmers added: “It’s going to be an interesting weekend! Both of us would like to get a win.

“He’s built a good team down there and he will want to come and get an upset. It’s an important weekend. But that’s all it is, just another weekend. It’s a new team, new coach, it won’t have an impact on them. But we want a win or two for the supporters. There is definitely an added edge to it.”