Greg Mitchell’s Season Preview

The angry man is back. Slightly put out at not being asked to preview the upcoming season, Greg Mitchell has gone and done his own in his usual ‘slightly abrasive’ style!

I don’t know why Jono chose to not to seek my input into the annual round of previews. Rest assured I’ll be having words when I eventually catch up with him but for now I thought I’d kick off the new season with my own preview of the months to come. They’re more a set of predictions really than your usual overblown, over thought preview but I’m sure you’ll get the jist of things as you go along.

Belfast: The Giants will reach brand new levels of hypocrisy this season. Both fans and officials won’t see much of the on ice action as they continually switch between condemning other teams for doing what they’ll defend their own team for having done. Remember, in the Kingdom of the Giants everything is wrong until it is done by the Giants. Want 11 imports? If you do you’ll have to listen to them bleat that you can’t do that, it’s wrong, it’s not fair, you’re breaking the wage cap. If they do it, it’s perfectly legitimate and in no way will it affect their spending as they’re going to bring in two players for the price of one. Yeah right! I also predict that Todd Kelman will continue his love affair with the opposing teams’ fans’ wallets as he conveniently forgets everything he’s ever said about them before in order to draw them in. The fact that we let him in the name of a fun weekend away (for fans AND team if the past is anything to go by) is a different matter.

Braehead: A quick note to the sad people who hero worshipped Bruce Richardson, he’s gone! Bruce has left the building so can we now stop the ridiculous mooing and encouragement for an opponent? Maybe those people should try and remember what we won WITHOUT this great motivator and leader last year. Predictions for the coming season? People will continue to go on about how great their management is and slag off Panthers for following very similar models. I just hope they get round to painting the gents toilet something a little bluer than the pink they’ve currently got.

Cardiff: Cardiff fans will continue to whine in the same way they always have done. They’re only people who moan more are Sheffield fans but I’ll get to them later. If you listen to the Devils they’re always hard done by, but if I had to watch Brad Voth week in week out I’d feel a little persecuted. In all seriousness though, they may have a point. A string of dodgy owners that only Sheffield could come close to (them being the same people and all that) must take its toll. They’re another example of how the attitudes of teams’ players affect the fans. Anyone else remember the constant whining of the likes of the Coopers, Lawless or Chinn? The fans do, they’re keeping up the tradition in the stands.

Coventry: Good, bad or indifferent, frankly who cares?

Dundee: I just hope they’ve learnt the lessons from last year. McMorrow was a massive mistake but anyone with half a brain could have seen that coming. Making him your fighter is sort of fair enough but to have expected anything else out of him was foolhardy at best. Still at least after he had gone they had Tristan Harper to step into his shoes. I don’t expect much from them this season, I expect more than last season but that’s not really saying much is it!

Edinburgh: I’m tempted to put the same as Coventry here but the reason would be completely different. Edinburgh Capitals are like the kid who sits quietly in the corner slowly failing his GCSEs. Nobody really notices him because little Timmy Sheffield at the front of the class is forever trying to hog all the limelight. Part of me expects them to finish 11th (I know what I put there) but another part hopes they finish at all.

Fife: I expect Fife to spend at least the first two months of the season getting soundly beaten on a regular basis, but they’ll keep bragging about how great their Brits are and how proud of them they are despite the results. I said this a lot about that other problem child Newcastle last year, you get no points for pride. It’s great that you’re here but if that’s all you’ve got then you’d better be bracing yourselves harder than a New Yorker.

Hull: Could this be Hull’s year? Plenty of people are saying it on the back of a decent pre-season result. Me, I’m not so sure. I did see on a certain forum that shall be nameless that their fans are already having fun predicting that the Panthers’ title tilt will come off the rails in October. You’re not really talking from a position of strength are you boys? But that’s the little team mentality all over , let’s laugh at a team that’s got money not doing as well as they’ve decided we think we should. They may be right but then again they may not.

Nottingham: It’s not our year. There I’ve said it. We’ll entertain and we’ll crash and burn with equal alacrity in the same way we always have done. Have we learned the lessons from last year, or the year before that or the year before that? I’m not sure and time will tell. There is stuff I am sure of. We will have the most creative excuses and we will be rightly vilified for using them, our fans will turn on some player or other and chances are it’ll be the wrong one. Whether we win or lose will not be affected by whether or not we sign some knuckle dragger who does little more than skate round posturing in an increasingly lonely position as opponent after opponent are released by their team when they realise they’re actually pretty useless.

Sheffield: Like Nottingham there’s much I don’t know about Sheffield but there’s plenty I do. You can guarantee that win, lose or draw they’ll make sure that they’re at the forefront of everything as they pinball about from one self-imposed crisis (whether real, manufactured or imagined) to another whilst either shouting from the rooftops about how great they are or grovelling at most teams’ feet (I’m still waiting for our apology Mr Simms) for the help they desperately need for the good of the league. One other thing I’ll guarantee is that there’ll never be as quiet a build up to a Panthers v Steelers game as there was for the play-off semi again. Ryan Finnerty is never short of a choice word or fifteen so you can bet your bottom dollar his gums will be flapping with hours of embarrassing bile for weeks before every game this season. I say let him. He’ll eventually trip himself up and I’ll be in the queue to laugh.


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