Chalmers: We are big enough to reach Challenge Cup Final
Glasgow Clan Operations Director Gareth Chalmers said the club was big enough to compete in the Challenge Cup final – a year after their humiliation in the playoffs.
His team, coached by Pete Russell, will travel to Belfast on Thursday to face the Giants in the semi-finals of the return leg for a spot in the Cardiff final next month, with a 2-1 lead over the weekend. ;together.
Chalmers said the club had come a long way since this disappointment that had led to the dismissal of former coach John Tripp.
"As an organization, we need to participate in the final of this tournament," said Chalmers. "This is our ninth year and we have never participated in a major final. For me, we are big enough to do it now.
"The off-ice club is solid and is the next level for us to win trophies. It's hard to break that, but once you win one, it can be more successful.
"It will be difficult in Belfast. We know it and if we do it, fantastic. But when you look at the situation as a whole and then be in the last four games of the Challenge Cup, it's a huge step forward.
"The last two years have been difficult for the club as a whole. Last season in particular was extremely disappointing and we were expecting a lot better on the ice.
"Finishing ninth and not qualifying for play-offs was unacceptable for the organization and that's ultimately why John Tripp lost his job in the end."
The aftermath of this campaign hit club fans hard and Chalmers found himself under fire from fans after being president in such a mediocre season.
For the first time, his stewardship was involved and he is more than happy to admit that he introspected by examining the wreckage.
But he insists that giving up smoking was never an option because he was looking for the answer that would help reverse the club's situation.
He added: "The disappointment of what has happened in recent years, to see my name sung negatively, is part of the nature of sport.
"If people are not happy, they will say it. I understand that quite well and sometimes, as at the end of last season, there was a lot of digging.
"Errors have been made and I admit it. Honestly, we thought John Tripp was the ideal candidate for the job at the time, but for some reason he was not.
"We have a lot of respect for him and sometimes things do not work, so I took the time to look at myself and see what was needed and I knew what to do. "
After the release of Tripp, they had to move quickly on the day of the final of the playoffs last year, Clan decided to announce that they had a new coach in place and ready to prepare for this season.
The appointment was not very good in some quarters, knowing that Russell had just left Milton Keynes Lightning, a team that finished second in the Elite League in his first campaign in the first division.
In general, the purple army had a mixed reaction, but Chalmers had the unflinching conviction that his new coach would prove himself.
He added, "We always knew that bringing in Pete would provoke a mixed reaction. There were those who questioned us naming whose team had just finished second in the bottom in his first year.
"They probably saw a lack of ambition, but there was always more than that. It was an easy decision to take when you take a closer look at his career.
"The reaction disappointed me, but I understood it. But we were still confident to have the right guy and that's the right decision so far.
"To find ourselves where we are now, at the top of the table and in order to reach the final of the Challenge Cup, Pete and the players deserve great credit for what they did."