Published Wednesday, 28 August 2013
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Interview: Jeff Szwez
Interview: Paul Adey
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The Canadian was the last of the new-look Belfast Giants roster to sign, with the announcement only made at a pre-season fan event last week.
"I was really excited to come back and to see a lot of familiar faces - great fans, of course, and a great city to live in," Szwez said.
And while Giants fans will be expecting their side to be at the business end of the season's hunt for silverware, their newest signing insists that's a goal shared by the players.
"That's always a healthy thing, to have good expectations. This organisation has a rich history of winning and we expect to continue that," Szwez said.
It's always nice to stop horsing around on the ice and get into some games and get your competition level back up.
Jeff Szwez, Belfast Giants
As for potential title challengers, Szwez added: "I haven't been in this league for four years, so I'm sure the usual suspects - Coventry, Sheffield - will all be near the top, but I've heard that the Scottish teams are making in-roads.
"And the league format's changed a little bit ... so I'm also eager to know what to expect. But mainly, you just focus on what you can do to be working towards trophies."
Paul Adey, in his first season as Giants head coach, is also tipping this season to bring more upsets - given the push in recent years from those teams in the middle of the standings.
But he insists that Belfast will be right up there among the challengers.
"We want to challenge for everything and be very competitive," Adey told UTV.
"We've put together a very good team and there's no reason why we won't be there challenging for trophies this year."
The coach is already happy with how training has been going and says that the new players are settling in well, adding: "They seem to like Belfast, they like the Odyssey ...
"So, all-in-all, it's been a very positive start for us."
The Belfast Giants are back in action this weekend, with back-to-back pre-season clashes with the visiting Bolzano Foxes being held at the Odyssey Arena on Saturday and Sunday.
© UTV News