PAISLEY Pirates will end six months in cold storage when they hit the ice for the first time in the new season on Saturday, an away tie against North Ayr Wild.

Ian Turley’s men will follow that up with their first home game of the new campaign on Sunday night when Kilmarnock Storm visit Braehead Arena (face-off 6pm). And Pirates coach Turley admits it will be a relief to see his squad back in action.

He said: “It’ll be good to get back onto the ice in competitive action after such a long spell of inactivity. There’s been a freshness in training over the last few weeks, as the makeup of the team has changed quite a bit.

“But we now have to put our ideas into practice on the ice. The whole set-up has a freshness to it all, with Adam Walker joining me to double the coaching capacity within the club. It’s certainly given me a boost to have someone as knowledgeable and proficient as him working alongside me.

“The new squad is absolutely desperate to learn and it’s a big boost to the pair of us to have such an attentive pool of players.”

Despite his delight at getting back to competitive hockey, Turley is under no illusions that his side will not be eased back into action and expects a tough test against Kilmarnock and North Ayr.

He said: “We’ve two difficult games to start with against teams who’ve already been in competitive action, but it’s a situation we’ve been used to in recent years so again we’ll just get on with it.

“Wild will be keen to turn us over, apart from it being a local derby we now have a number of former Wild players in our ranks, who’ll all be keen to ensure they retain bragging rights over their former teammates.

“Storm have had a good start to the season and have already racked up a couple of wins so they’ll fancy their chances of keeping their good opening run going.

“Our first home match is also dedicated to the memory of two faithful supporters, Jess Donnelly and Jim Dinning, who both sadly passed away over the close season, so we have a special reason for doing well.”