As one of the longest established ice hockey teams in the UK, the Blackburn Hawks have enjoyed recent success including winning the playoffs 3 times in the last six seasons and back-to-back league titles in 2014/15 and 2015/16. However, since the collapse of the English Premier Ice Hockey League, the Hawks have been less competitive.
Going forward John Neville will have control of the Blackburn Hawks working alongside newly appointed match night coordinator, Chris Riley and rink manager Mark Halliwell. John will be looking to revitalise the Hawks and to establish a robust and transparent operating structure.
Speaking about his appointment John said;
“I am honoured that Planet Ice have asked me to oversee the Blackburn Hawks as I was heavily involved with the Hawks at the beginning. Having been instrumental in the success of the Basingstoke Bison who have won several trophies in four seasons I am keen to implement a similar structure in Blackburn. It is important to stress that my role with the Hawks is in addition to my role with the Bison and that I will be giving equal attention to both teams”.
“The Hawks management team will endeavour to enhance the on and off ice product, bring success to the team and ultimately challenge for trophies. Clearly additional investment will be required to ensure that the Hawks are competitive and we will be aligning all activities on and off ice to support this investment”.
“Additionally, we are pleased to announce that Mark Kinder and Meik Harris will continue in their roles as part of the off-ice management team”.
“As well as announcing the off-ice management team I am delighted to announce the return of Steve Duncombe as Head Coach for his second full season and I look forward to working alongside Mark, Chris, Mark, Meik and Steve to bring success back the team”.
“To work alongside Steve, the Hawks are also pleased to announce the return of highly experienced defenceman James Neil, who once again wear the number 12 jersey, and who will also be fulfilling the role of Steve’s Assistant Coach.”
“I’m really pleased with the management team that we have going forwards and hopefully we can bring the success that the Hawks and their fans clearly deserve”, John continued.
Commenting on his return Steve said;
“I’m glad to be back in Blackburn for my 3rd season coaching and I’m also looking forward to working with James Neil as my assistant coach and building something special for this coming season.”
As a team we intend to have an aggressive recruitment policy and we will also be looking to start working with our volunteers with a view to ensuring that our match night and customer service experience rivals the best in the league. Chris will be arranging a meeting with new and existing volunteers in the near future.
Season tickets for the forthcoming season will go on sale shortly after the league meeting on the 19th May 2018 and we intend to start announcing player signings shortly after that.