Bench coach will be best for Bracknell Bees, says RandallBy Adam Lee
July 21, 2010
Having a permanent bench coach will give Bracknell Bees a huge advantage next season, according to assistant captain and assistant coach Greg Randall.
With the appointment of Gareth Cox, Bees are the fifth team in the EPIHL to adopt a bench coach rather than a player/coach, and 31-year-old defenceman Randall believes it will hold them in good stead for the 2010/11 season.
Cox recently stated that he thought last season the Bees were at times tactically and defensively naive, and Randall believes all that will change under the new regime.
“I really think it’s going to help having someone behind the bench permanently,” said Randall.
“(Former coach) Claude (Dumas) did a great job last year but sometimes when you come up against teams like Guildford or Manchester the amount of experience these guys had outweighed ours at times so you have to box clever against teams like that.
“You have to take away their ability to run the game and deny them free and open space.
“This year there’ll be a lot more focus on that with a coach permanently behind the bench.
“He’ll be able to focus on changing things quicker as and when it needs it.
“There was a lot of stuff for Claude to deal with and a lot of it was about getting the guys on the same page.
“We showed that when we kept to the same system last year we could take teams down, but we also proved that when we didn’t concentrate we could get spanked out of the rink.
“It’ll make it easier to identify things and rectify it within a matter of minutes, rather than playing the rest of a period, analysing it and then trying to change it during the next period.”
During the off season, Randall has undergone further surgery on a broken finger sustained in a motorbike accident in Milton Keynes last autumn.
After snapping the little finger on his left hand, Randall, who is left handed, had to adapt his grip and play through the pain barrier for the remainder of the season.
But now he is adamant that his hand is fully healed, and the experienced blue liner will be fit and ready to power in some of his trademark slap shots.
Randall now travels to Spain for a golfing holiday, and when he returns he will focus his attention on the intense few weeks of training the team faces prior to the new season, which starts at Guildford Flames on Saturday, September 18.
The squad will meet up on Tuesday August 31, and endure just shy of three intense weeks of training on and off the ice, which will also include four exhibition games against Slough Jets and Basingstoke Bison.
And although Randall would like to see the squad get together earlier, financial constraints mean that the entire pre-season preparation must take place between August 31 and September 18.
“We’ve got a hectic couple of weeks on and off the ice before the season starts, but it’s a good chance for the players to get together and bond,” he said.
“The problem that we’ve got is that bringing guys in too early means the club has to start paying them way before the season starts.
“It means the two weeks before the season starts are going to be very intense.
“We’re training on ice and off ice three or four times a week and then we also have the four games before the season actually starts.
“It will be here that everybody gets to grips with the systems Gareth wants us to play and every player will learn their individual role within the team.”