Q&A with Dragons head coach Brian Cur­ran ... part 1

The Drumheller Mail - - SPORTS - Read the con­clu­sion of this in­ter­view in next week’s edi­tion (Au­gust 24), of The Drumheller Mail. Kyle Smylie The Drumheller Mail

The AJHL hockey sea­son draws near and the pieces are com­ing to­gether for the Drumheller Dragons af­ter a num­ber of sign­ings in the past few weeks. The Mail had a chance to chat with Dragons head coach Brian Cur­ran on his evolv­ing team and what the club plans to do with the fresh slate of a new sea­son. Fol­low The Mail next week, Au­gust 24 for the con­clu­sion of Cur­ran’s in­ter­view. Q With the pre­sea­son ap­proach­ing, we thought it would be a good idea to touch base and see how the team is com­ing to­gether this year.

Cur­ran: The team has come to­gether fairly well. We’re a cou­ple play­ers away, but the scout­ing staff did a re­ally good job. We spent a con­sid­er­able time from Jan­uary on­ward in the re­cruit­ing process and I think our guys did a great job as far as get­ting play­ers that I was look­ing for. It’s some­what of a youth move­ment. We’re bring­ing in a lot of younger play­ers that I think are very tal­ented, skilled, hard work­ing play­ers, for sure. Last year was an av­er­age sea­son. Some play­ers had a great sea­son for us and some play­ers un­der­achieved for them­selves per­son­ally. In the mid­dle of Jan­uary I thought we’d go in the di­rec­tion of get­ting a lit­tle bit younger. I’m not say­ing we’re re­build­ing, it’ll look like it for sure, but I think these play­ers have that drive. They are still very young, some are right out of Midget AAA, but are still great play­ers. I won’t have to worry about these kids work­ing their tails off, that’s for sure.

Q *** You said you were talk­ing with your scouts about look­ing for cer­tain things, is that the youth and work ethic you’re talk­ing about?

Cur­ran: It’s the com­pete level. They never quit. There’s so many facets to that part of the com­ment. It’s like go­ing to the net hard, it’s bat­tling in the cor­ners and stay­ing in those bat­tles and win­ning the bat­tles. It’s com­ing back hard to our zone. The de­fence­men we changed up – we have some pretty tough kids back there, but we have some mo­bile de­fence­men that can re­ally skate. They’re young but they’re play­ers who have done well where they were play­ing. They’re just kids that don’t stop and they’ve got good char­ac­ter. I’ve vis­ited 95 per cent of the par­ents and they’re all good peo­ple. Good par­ents, good back­ground, they all worked hard for what they wanted in life and when I met them it sure looks like the kids know that too and they work hard. Good char­ac­ter is some­thing we wanted to stress. To have those guys that when things get tough they won’t fold and throw in the towel. I’m ex­cited for the year. Q *** Is there some­thing about last year’s team that is mak­ing you want to change the cul­ture?

Cur­ran: You know what, last year is done and over with, and I think there were mis­takes made all over the place. I cer­tainly thought last year’s team was go­ing to be a much bet­ter team, but, at the end of the day, it starts with me. There were things that I should have grabbed onto right from the be­gin­ning that were be­tween me and the play­ers, and set us straight and on the right path. I’ve been try­ing to fig­ure out this Y-gen­er­a­tion for two years and at the end of the day I can’t change who I am. I’m go­ing back to the old Brian Cur­ran with some new ad­just­ments that I’ve learned over the last cou­ple years. You can’t change who you are, and it starts with me. I know I’ve made my changes now back to what I like about me as a coach. As for the play­ers, it was a rough year for some of our older play­ers and we just didn’t gel to­gether as well as we should have. But it’s over with, it’s done with, and it’s kind of like the first time I got here – we had to make sig­nif­i­cant changes, and we did, but started off slow and had a very suc­cess­ful year. I hope we don’t start slow, but I know we’ll be a team peo­ple will want to watch. I look at it as a fan, and I would rather watch a team that goes out on the ice and works their tails off. Win or lose you know they’re go­ing to give it their best.

Q *** I think that will res­onate with Drumheller, too.

Cur­ran: Yeah, and that’s what we had. The team worked hard cer­tainly at times last year and you could see what they could have been, but we couldn’t sus­tain it on a daily ba­sis. So you know, I thought that cul­ture had to change. Some have asked me why so many first year play­ers, and my an­swer is sim­ple: it just feels good. It feels like the right thing to do, for me, right now, and try and get some more schol­ar­ships here and put a team on the ice that has fans say­ing ‘boy, but they worked hard.’ That trans­lates into wins at the end of the year.

Brian Cur­ran... Dragons head coach

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.