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Club Statement

A message from Shane Smith.

First and foremost I hope that everyone is well and not struggling during these difficult and unusual times. I would like to use this as an opportunity to apologise for the limited communication from myself since the sudden and abrupt ending of last season as I have been working tirelessly behind the scenes and throughout lockdown, not only with the Hull Pirates but with my other business which supports many vital and essential services.

As I am sure you are all aware Hull city council have announced closure of the Hull Ice Arena until August 2021 to enable essential renovations and improvements to take place. I am in constant communication with the council on the status of the Ice Arena and will ensure any impact this will have to the team will be as minimal as possible and will endeavor to communicate any updates to our fans and sponsors.

As we are currently not in a position to play due to this ongoing pandemic I have personally spoken to all the players we have signed for the forthcoming season and given them my blessing to find Ice time elsewhere until the team returns to play.

As you may have seen an NIHL National streaming series is currently being trialled this month by Swindon Wildcats, MK lightning and the Sheffield Steeldogs. If in the new year it is safe to do so and the streaming series rolls out across the league, due to the Hull arena been closed I will potentially look for an alternate rink for us to play from and stream our games as sadly these games will be played behind closed doors it will not impact our loyal fan base.

I wish all our sponsors, fans and volunteers the best and look forward to welcoming you back to the Arena soon.

Stay Safe
Shane Smith

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League Update On The 2020/21 Season .

Representatives of the ten NIHL National teams met online recently to continue our ongoing series of planning sessions and we would like to update you on progress so far.  

We are pleased to confirm that we have all together agreed to set a target start date for the NIHL National league of 1stJanuary 2021. In addition to this, there was collective agreement to aim to play hockey matches during late November and through December with a series of challenge games and a pre-season cup competition.  Details of the length of the regular season and the format of the cup competition and pre-season challenges will be shared once they are finalised.

Having these dates in the diary gives the opportunity for teams to start to put in place the arrangements needed to safely and effectively return to play.  It is important to note that these areplanning dates, and are subject to a number of points being resolved before teams can take to the ice.  For example:

1. It is highly likely that social distancing rules will still be in place and that this may restrict attendances.  Whether this is a fixed number (e.g. 800) or a percentage of a venue’s capacity, (e.g. 40%) is still to be determined and will be led by local and national Government guidelines, the findings from various non-Ice Hockey test events taking place and EIHA policy.  The level at which attendance is restricted will be critical as to whether it is financially viable for teams to compete.

2. Some arenas are still without ice and venues would need to be operational for fixtures to take place so we are dependent on plans to re-lay ice in those venues.

3. We will be consistently adopting across all NIHL venues and fixtures a defined set of COVID protocols around access and exit, locker room provision, cleanliness etc.  These processes need to be finalised, agreed and rolled out.  This work has now started.

4. A flexible fixtures model needs to be developed to accommodate as simply as possible any fixture changes (e.g. through local lockdown), or changes to the overall season structure.  This work has now started. The EIHA’s return to ice programme needs to have reached Level 5 for the season to begin, and at least level 4 for pre-season activities to take place. 

5. The agreement of a planned regular season start date and the intent to run a pre-season cup competition is a very positive step in the journey of the return to live action in the UK of the game we all love.  Although there are a number of hurdles to overcome, we are committed to working together, as all NIHL National teams, to do whatever we can to overcome these obstacles.  The owners group will be meeting again later inSeptember to progress these plans further and we will share updates as clearly as possible as plans develop.

We’d all like to thank you for your continued support and patience and your love of the game.  We’ll be back on the ice as soon as we can.

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Announcing the Return of Cameron Brownley

Cameron Brownley returns to the Hull Pirates, signing on the dotted line for the 2020/21 season.

Cameron has played for the Sheffield Steeldogs for the past 4 seasons, but he isn’t a stranger to the Pirates having played for us in our first ever season.

Cameron commented on his return to Hull: “I’m looking forward to the new season and returning to a familiar locker room. Being part of the Pirates first ever season, knowing the city, the fans and lots of the players. Hewy has given me the opportunity to return and for me to prove myself and hopefully do my best to benefit the team and hopefully win some silverware! Just looking forward to getting going now, being back on the ice, awaiting for the season ahead.”

Jason Hewitt admitted that Cameron is someone he has had his eye on: “Glad to have got Cam with us, I tried last year but it didn’t work out. He brings great speed and energy to our team and has a lot of skill which enables him to play up and down our line up. Really looking forward to having him on our team.”

Cameron is the 7th signing to the Pirates roster for the forthcoming season with plenty more signings on the way.

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Jonathan Kirk returns for his 6th season at the Pirates.

The 24 year old defenceman has played a total of 220 games since joining the team in 2015.

Jonathan can’t wait to return to the ice and said: “I’m happy to be back for another year with the pirates. Last year was a strange one with all the injuries we suffered, not being able to put together a run of form and then the early finish of the season. Hopefully this year we can get back to how we were in that treble winning season and put together a good fight for some trophies. See you all in September!”

Player coach Jason Hewitt shares this sentiment: “So happy to have JK return again he’s a massive part of our team and great guy to have around (when he’s smiling).He’s gotten better and better every year and plays a big role on our powerplay but is also one of our most reliable killers and puts his body on the line for his team. I think he leads the Pirates in all time games played and I can only see that number growing and growing. As long as I’m here I want JK here, he’s great young player.”

We hope you have all had a good Easter Pirates nation! Remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel and interact with out play off videos, for a chance to win the grand prize of a season ticket for next year.

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Steven Chalmers Returns!

Former EIHL defenceman Steven Chalmers re-signs for the 2020/21 season.

The 5ft11 Scottish D-man joined the Pirates halfway through last season, after spending a year playing in the Swedish leagues.

Steven looks forward to returning to the team and said: “I really enjoyed last year with Hull and it was great to be playing again. I’m delighted to be back with the Pirates for next season. I’m looking forward to another exciting season.”

Player coach Jason Hewitt is also excited to see Chalmers return: “Chalms was a great find last year, he’s a player with great experience and a no nonsense style I like. I thought he was great for us this year, it was tough on our d with all the injuries we had no consistency with partners and that had an effect, this year we’ll be looking for chalms to play a bigger role. I’m happy he’s with us and look forward to see him back to help us get back to where we want to be!”

With 4 signings already under our belt, our 5th announcement will be coming next week.

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Towner is Back

Sam Towner returns for the 2020/21 season!

Local lad Sam returns for his 6th season at the Hull Pirates, having played a total of 180 games and collecting 168 points in his black and green uniform.

Sam was quick to re-sign for the forthcoming season advising: “It’s great to be back for another year, after conversing with Hewy and hearing the direction he wants to head in moving forward it didn’t take me long to decide that I wanted to be a part of that. Obviously last season ended abruptly but I feel as though we could’ve made a push for the final four but we didn’t get that chance.”

Sam reflected on the season just passed and how we can improve on this, “I think next year will be another exciting year and if we address our away form and strengthen in one or two key areas we should be there or there abouts at the end of the season. I’m looking forward to September, see you all then.”

Player coach Jason Hewitt explained: “It was never an option not to have Towns in our team I’m over the moon he’s back. He’s a player that I can rely on in any situation and this past season in particular I feel he grew as a player and leader, he played in some different roles down the stretch for us and really gave me some food for thought going forward.”

“He’s a player who’s hungry for success and guys like that rub off on other people so I can’t wait to see him back in Green this year!”

Sam is the 3rd signing to be announced with more to follow soon.

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Matt Bissonnette Returns

Matt Bissonnette has signed on the dotted line and will be returning to the Hull Pirates for the 2020/21 season.

Known favourably amongst fans as The Bizz, the 6ft4 Canadian joined the Pirates midway through the previous season playing a total of 17 games collecting an impressive 35 points.

Matt explained his reasons for  coming back aboard: “It was an easy choice to come back. I really enjoyed my short time in Hull and i’m looking forward to playing a full year for the Pirates! The great Pirates fans made this decision very easy. I can’t wait for next season! 

Player Coach Jason Hewitt also spoke about why he decided to re-sign Matt: “Really happy to have Bizz returning to us, he was really good for us down the stretch and was hitting great stride before the premature end of the year. He’s a great guy in the room fitted in well with our group and offers great experience and accountability to our team. With a long summer ahead giving everyone a good amount of rest and time to get in shape for the coming season I think we will see an even better version of Bizz this  year!”

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Hewitt Returns

The Hull Pirates are thrilled to announce that Jason Hewitt is set to return next season.

Hull Pirates owner, Shane Smith wanted to firstly advise fans:

“First and foremost may this be received by everyone well and safe. We hope that everyone stays safe and we look forward to seeing everyone as soon as possible.”

Shane then remarked on the signing, advising:

“I am delighted that Jason has agreed to continue and lead the pirates forward.
He has been an integral part of everything over recent years. Specially the treble last year. This year was a tough year for everyone with rules changed and injuries and this sudden end to the season. Hewy he has been a warrior leading the way this year Like most playing through injuries.

That said I delighted to have hewy back and he is already working hard on signing players as we prepare for next season.”

Jason Hewitt spoke about his resigning and said:

“I’m Happy to be back again for another crack at it. Still loving playing and coaching and at this point couldn’t imagine it being anywhere else.

last season was like a roller coaster and in my eyes not a true reflection of the team we put together in the summer, the amount of injuries we sustained I feel had a huge negative impact on our season.

There were still a lot of positives for me to work with though, some guys really elevated there game through the tough spells and gave us a chance to win every night, so We’ll look to build around those guys and come back an even better team this time round.

We learned a lot last year good and bad, the league is strong and competitive and that’s exciting for everyone we’ll be looking to be challenging for honours next year again.

Until then stay safe and we’ll see you in September!”

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Remainder Of The Season Cancelled.

The Hull Pirates are sad to announce the remainder of the 2019/20 season has been cancelled due to the growing concerns over the global Covid-19 pandemic.

We understand that there will be a lot of questions from our fans, however we are unable to answer these at present and will continue to update you all through our website and social media over the coming days.

We would also like to take the time to thank our players and volunteers for all the hard work during the season, along with our dedicated fans and sponsors this season!

Stay safe Pirates Nation and we hope to see you all soon!

#WeArePirates