Moran keen to rebuild Slough Jets into winners again

Moran keen to rebuild Slough Jets into winners again

Dan Darlington

Moran keen to rebuild Slough Jets into winners again

The Slough Jets can finally pack away their hockey sticks, forget about this torturous season, and start planning for the next one.

They predictably finished with two heavy defeats to the Sheffield Steeldogs and Swindon Wildcats last weekend, leaving the club rock bottom with 37 points from 54 games.

The stats don’t make for particularly pleasant reading. Since the turn of the year they’ve won just five of their matches, finishing bottom of the heap for the first time in over a decade.

They ended up nine points adrift of the Bracknell Bees who clinched the final play-off spot with a win over the Phantoms last weekend.

“For me it’s still a sense of disappointment at the moment,” said head coach Craig Moran, who still doesn’t know if he’ll take the reins for the next campaign. 

“I’ve never not known us make the play-offs as coach and it feels like we’ve finished the season two weeks early. It’s been a difficult challenging season, but I’ve learned a lot.

“We could have and should have won a few more games, but we didn’t have the experience to do it.”

The difficult campaign took a turn for the worse when a mid-season playing budget cut led to several highly rated players, including Darius Pliskauskas, and netminder Kamil Jarina, leaving the club.

That exodus came to a crescendo in December when Slava Koulikov left his post as coach for rivals Peterborough Phantoms, and nine players including Michael Wales, Dan Scott, Ciaran Long, Dan Davies and Lee Richardson also left.

Moran has had to rebuild with young British players and foreign imports, but they’ve not had the experience or know-how to compete week in week out with the league’s best.

“The team we can put together depends on the budget we have. I’d like us to win some silverware next season, but competing for the league title will be a tough ask because there are some big budgets floating around,” he said.

“This season has been a massive learning curve for me, stepping up to head coach and taking on more responsibilities.”

Moran also isn’t even sure if he’ll be the club’s head coach again next season.

“I haven’t had anything in writing yet,” he said.

“But I’m hoping to find out in the next week and a half, and then we can start putting plans in place for next season.”

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