05:00AM, Saturday 03 May 2014
Slough Jets’ coach Craig Moran has pledged get support from ‘up to a 100 sponsors’ in a bid to bring EPLhockey back to the town.
The Jets’ owners Zoran and Ghislaine Kozic announced the club was pulling out of the EPL with a ‘heavy heart’, but Moran is convinced the club ‘everyone remembers’ can be resurrected.
The Jets will compete in the NationalHockey League 2(NIHL2) after the owners blamed increasing costs and dropping attendances, and a lack of sponsors, for their decision to pull out.
“My main aim is to get some sponsorship together and bring EPL hockey back to Slough,” he said.
“It’s a bit late for this coming season, but I’m hopeful we can do it the following year. We might need 100 different sponsors but I think it’s do-able.
“It brings a lump to my throat to see what’s happened, but with a little determination we can bring back the Jets that everyone remembers.”
Moran is discussing the possibility of coaching at other EPL clubs and has encouraged the players to accept offers to play their hockey elsewhere next season.
“I’ve spoken with Ales Padelek and he wanted to continue playing hockey in Slough but I’ve told him he must look after himself. If a club comes in with an offer I’ve told him to take it because there won’t be EPL hockey here this season.”
Moran added that fans shouldn’t vent their anger at the owners.
“The fans aren’t happy, but you can’t blame Zoran and Ghislaine because there’s only so long that they can keep putting money into something that's losing them money,” he said.
“There may not have been an EPL side here for many years if it wasn’t for them.
“It’s killing me inside what’s happening. We might not be as big as Chelsea FC, but imagine if that club suddenly ceased to exist. It’s a massive loss for the community, and I’m sure the ice rink will also suffer financially, but hopefully this isn’t the end and we can come back.”
A Jets’ statement last week read:“We must say our final goodbye and deepest thank you to all those who have continually been supporters of the Slough Jets.
“It is with great sadness that we had to drop out of EPL but for those that wish to continue to support Slough we will still have a team next year in the NIHL2 and hope that the Jets family will come and support us this coming season.
“To all the individuals, families, and the players who have so tirelessly supported us, bravo!”
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