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‘Stay with me.’

Smailes Goldie Hull Pirates MD, Shane Smith, admits that he is surprised by his team’s recent run of results.  ‘We built a team to win silverware in the National League but I recognise that it is not going to plan and changes are needed, now!’

After the Pirates’ fourth loss in a row, Shane understands fans’ criticism. 

‘Having put so much money and energy into this club, yes it is hard to take.  Right now, me, the boys in the dressing and Jason are hurting.’ 

However, Shane warns that the criticism has to be respectful and hopes that it is proportional.

‘I have repeated on numerous occasions that I have a legal duty of care to protect my players so supporters must maintain an appropriate level of respect if they feel minded to criticise any of my squad.  I totally understand why some fans will criticise us.  However, my view has always been that Hull is a family club.  Families should pull together when the going gets tough.’

Losing to the Steeldogs in particular was a hard loss to swallow for the Pirates’ MD. 

‘It might sound odd to some but I was proud of my team on Sunday, despite the loss.  Lots of players such as Gent and my own son, Aaron, stepped up and acquitted themselves well.  The third line worked their socks off too.  But fans should know that before the faceoff, we lost Matty to injury and Bobby to an unexpected four match ban, of which we were only notified of on Friday.  Add in the injury to Chilly and that is a loss of too many key players.  No team in this league could sustain that level of loss without a dramatic effect upon performance.’

The factors hampering the Pirates’ doesn’t stop there.  ‘I know fans will think that this is an excuse but the changing room after the game was like a war-zone with players receiving treatment for over an hour after the final whistle.  Going into Sunday’s game, we already had the likes of Lee Haywood and Tom Stubley nursing injuries and Marcus just returning.  Ash then picked up a bizarre injury when he collided with an official while skating to the bench.’

The intensity of the National League has not surprised Shane, who anticipated how tight each game would be but the level of attrition within his squad is something he has rarely experienced in his many years of ice hockey.  The need for reinforcement and changes is evident.  Both Shane and Jason are now plotting a response to the current position.

‘This is not a crisis but I know we need to bring additional bodies into the squad.  Jason and I are looking at some options in defence and the possibility of recruiting either a British player or dual national.  We don’t just need numbers in defence but some muscle too.  I think we really need to beef up there.  Could we have done that before the season started…to be fair, it is easier said than done with so many quality British defenders being snapped up early.’

While Shane will not criticise his players’ efforts in the 6-7 loss to Sheffield, he recognises that additional bodies are also required in attack.  ‘We are looking at our style of play from the back to the front.  In attack, I know what Jason wants and we are looking for players that can provide that.’

In a particularly heartfelt message to the fans, Shane asked them to remain faithful to the treble winning Pirates.  ‘It is difficult for us all but I assure the fans that I am acting on the position we find ourselves in.  Jason is working hard on recruitment of additional bodies.’  He added, ‘Last year proved to the fans how much hunger I have for winning.  Like Jason, I don’t like the position we are in, so I am acting swiftly to reinforce his squad amid the many injuries.  Trust me we will recover.  No matter what people say, Hull is still the side most teams fear and they will have good reason to once our restructuring is complete.’

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The Guide Dogs for the Blind

The Guide Dogs for the Blind

This Sunday, the Pirates open their arms to embrace a very noble cause, The Guide Dogs for the Blind charity.  The number of people in the UK living with sight loss is increasing.  Today, there are nearly two million people living with sight loss severe enough to have a significant impact on their daily lives.  Every day, 250 people in the UK start to lose their sight.  When someone loses their sight, the charity is here to make sure they do not lose their freedom as well.  For those unfortunate to suffer sight loss, a guide dog provides an essential companion.  The cost of the dogs is not supported by central government and is entirely dependent on donations.  Every penny donated will go towards helping the charity provide life-changing services for people with sight loss.  

On Sunday, guide dogs and their partners will be attending the rink to make collections of donations.  We would be grateful, regardless of whether or not you make a donation, if you would give them a Pirates’ family welcome they will cherish.  And please, if you can, dig deep for a truly worthy cause.

Thank you.

This Sunday, the Pirates open their arms to embrace a very noble cause, The Guide Dogs for the Blind charity.  The number of people in the UK living with sight loss is increasing.  Today, there are nearly two million people living with sight loss severe enough to have a significant impact on their daily lives.  Every day, 250 people in the UK start to lose their sight.  When someone loses their sight, the charity is here to make sure they do not lose their freedom as well.  For those unfortunate to suffer sight loss, a guide dog provides an essential companion.  The cost of the dogs is not supported by central government and is entirely dependent on donations.  Every penny donated will go towards helping the charity provide life-changing services for people with sight loss.  

On Sunday, guide dogs and their partners will be attending the rink to make collections of donations.  We would be grateful, regardless of whether or not you make a donation, if you would give them a Pirates’ family welcome they will cherish.  And please, if you can, dig deep for a truly worthy cause.

Thank you.

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Thinking Autism: Pirates 2019/20 Adopted Charity

For the 2019/20 season, Smailes Goldie Hull Pirates have adopted the charity Thinking Autism.

Andre Payette has been reviewing many applications to be Pirates’ headline charity and when this one came along he said, ‘It is a great charity to support anyway but the strong connection between the charity and Jason and Stacey Hewitt, swayed our decision.’

Jason commented on news of the decision, ‘I am overwhelmed by the news and on behalf of me, Stacey and my family, I would like to say thank you to the club. I hope the fans feel the same way about this charity and will back it when the dedicated game comes around in the new year.’

Events will take place during the year to raise awareness for our adopted charity but attention will focus upon the main dedicated fund-raising game in February 2020. Special shirts are being designed for the game and this forms part of the huge project being undertaken within our partnership with Hull School of Art and Design (HSAD). A competition is already underway for fashion students to design a Thinking Autism shirt. This will be worn by players during the game and we hope to have it sold at arenas throughout the National and EIHL.

Thinking Autism are overjoyed that the Smailes Goldie Hull Pirates have chosen them to support this season. ‘We cannot thank you enough for helping to raise funds for our work and awareness of the support we offer families. We are a small team of autism parents and adults working to improve quality of life for people with autism and help them to reach their full potential. Our charity’s focus is on the medical comorbidities people with autism suffer. With proper recognition and treatment of these comorbidities, quality of life improves and for many people, the disabling symptoms of autism diminish. From one team to another, thank you Hull Pirates!’

Learn more about medical comorbidities in autism, including the latest research and family stories at our website  www.ThinkingAutism.org.uk

Here is a testimonial from one parent:

So appreciative and grateful for such a forward-thinking charity when it comes to our children! TA has been such a huge support, knowledgeable and informative charity for our family in helping us to support our son in therapies and his health when we felt lost due to the lack of crucial information in system. As a result our son has made huge gains across the board to which we are extremely thankful! If you are a parent whose child has just been diagnosed, TA are an incredible charity to connect with to help your child and you also as family.

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Yorkshire Remembrance Day Cup

Smailes Goldie Hull Pirates are thrilled to announce the inaugural Yorkshire Remembrance Day Cup, opponents being Leeds Chiefs.  The competition will coincide with our annual Remembrance Day commemorations and takes place this year on Saturday 9th November 2019 (faceoff 6pm – watch out for an announcement of the timings of the ceremony).

Remembrance Day is a very special date in the Pirates’ calendar.  Since 1988, when ice hockey was first played in Hull, the Arena has hosted many moving Remembrance Day ceremonies.  This year, we have joined forces with the British Army to rebrand the former Yorkshire Cup and to make this a particularly poignant Remembrance Day event.  A new trophy has been especially designed for the Yorkshire Remembrance Day Cup and is being sponsored by British Legion, SSAFA (the Armed Forces Charity) and the Defence School of Transport.

Commercial Manager, Andre Payette spoke about his collaboration with Captain Stuart O’Hagan.  ‘I cannot believe the support provided by the British Army and Cpt. O’Hagan in particular.  I am overwhelmed by their commitment.  We have worked closely for months now to bring this event about and in the process, the Pirates are helping armed forces’ charities to raise money for very worthy causes.  I was pleasantly surprised when Cpt. O’Hagan proposed sponsorship of the Yorkshire Cup and from there it seemed natural to call the competition the Yorkshire Remembrance Day Cup.’

The collaboration has led Hull Pirates to Hull4Heroes, an armed forces charity that supports service personnel back into civilian and work life.  The charity is known locally for its good work, especially the planned Veterans Village Project.  It is now an official sponsor of the Pirates.

The theme of this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony is the 75th anniversary of D-Day, which took place on 6th June 1944 when Allied Forces landed in Normandy to liberate the occupied peoples of Europe.  Approximately 10,000 Allied casualties were sustained that day including 2,700 British and 946 Canadian personnel.

‘I am a very keen world war historian and proud French-Canadian,’ said Andre Payette.  ‘Many of my compatriots died that day among nearly 42,000 Canadians who lost their lives in WW2.’  Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire also played its part in D-Day.  Leconfield airfield was then the home of RAF 640 Squadron, which flew their Halifax bombers in support of the invasion before and after D-Day.  It is now the home of Captain O’Hagan and the Army Royal Corps of Transport.

Andre Payette spoke about the evening’s events, ‘We have some great things planned including a now familiar VIP guest, an army band and a special commemorative shirt, which the Pirates will be wearing for the game.  We are planning to auction these sometime after the game and hopefully, will have produced a limited edition for sale to fans.  We are expecting a capacity crowd that night.  The armed forces are bringing many existing and former servicemen to the ceremony.’

Turning to the actual game, it will be a hotly contested with Pirates’ fans already eager to see their local derby opponents.  As well as competing for the Yorkshire Remembrance Day Cup, valuable National League points will also be at stake against the Chiefs.

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Injury set back for Black & Greens’ ‘D’

It has been confirmed that Smailes Goldie Captain, Jamie Chilcott, has been diagnosed with a dislocated collar bone/shoulder and will miss the start of the National League season. The injury is a huge blow to the Pirates’. Chilcott confirmed, ‘Its not feeling too sore now,’ but these injuries can take at least six weeks before a basic recovery, with even longer for physiotherapy to take effect.

Chilcott was bitterly disappointed not to participate in the opening home game but at least took part in the ceremonial banner raising as depicted above.

The news comes on the back of a head injury that has ruled out Chilcott’s fellow blue-liner, Marcus Neil. Speaking before the game, Neil’s father expressed concern that during the week, Marcus had been very ill following a heavy clash during a game. As a precaution, Neil has been rested from the squad and a date for his return is not yet known.

Pirates’ Spokesperson Ian Mowforth confirmed, ‘Player welfare, particularly head injuries is of paramount importance and is something Shane Smith is very keen to observe. His experience over last season is that players must not rush their comeback no matter how important they are to the team.’

While the loss of Chilcott and Neil is a blow to the Pirates’ early season hopes, the remaining ‘D’ players are holding their own and preparing for a few intense weeks. At the moment, replacements are not being contemplated.

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Welcome to the new Hull Pirates website

The new website improves the Pirates online presence and integrates with the social media which is now administered by a newly recruited Media Team.

In the coming months we will be releasing an app which all fans can register to in order to obtain discount deals, make purchases, access online magazines/newsletters and read content. we will also release a Pirates WebShop which stocks all of the Pirates merchandise and which in time will sell match tickets and season passes as well as allowing you to buy special match day celebration packages.