With the season drawn to a close, we are sad to announce the departure of head coach Lewis Clifford after two seasons at the helm of the MK Thunder.
Cliff informed us a earlier in the season that this would be his last, and although he'll be tough to replace everyone involved in the club wish him well in whatever the future brings him.
Cliff had this to say:"Obviously we're all sad to see Cliff go" said GM Dave Fairhurst. "I'd like to thank him for taking on the team two years ago and seeing them through the greatest upheaval in the clubs history, coping with the league structure changes that have taken place"
"He is the hardest working coach I know, the time he spends off ice preparing for games, analysing players and opposition, helping me with media and management activities, goes unnoticed by most but certainly I recognise and thank him for all he has done"
"This last season has been one of extreme adversity, certainly the Thunder has had to face more than it's fair share of extreme challenges from the hockey gods, Cliff has had to deal with it all and continue to move the team forward as a competitive unit"
"On a personal note, I'd like to thank Cliff for all the support he has given me over the years both as a player and as a coach and I wish him every success in the future."
News of a replacement head coach will be made in the coming weeks."Following 2 years back with the club where it all started, now is the right time for me to move on. The past 2 years have been tough and have taken a toll on me personally, particularly this season which has been the hardest year I have ever had in the game, not one I would like to relive again in a hurry. 3 or 4 things have happened to us this season that you don’t normally have to deal with in a ‘normal’ year, let alone all of them in the same campaign.
I would like to thank everyone involved with the club, from the people who have followed us home and away, the supporters club, the sponsors, the helpers on match nights, of course Dave, Lauren, Steve and everyone else who has helped us to compete on the ice every weekend for the past 2 years, however my biggest thanks must go to the players who have pulled on the shirt either this season, last season or both, especially the ones who have stuck at it to the very end, this team has never given me less than their best, the odds were stacked against us financially in every game but it’s important to remember the good times we had, anytime you beat a team that contains players who earn more a week than it costs to run your whole team you do deserve to give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy it.
I look forward to seeing as many people as possible on Saturday night to hand out some trophies in my final act as coach, thanks everyone, it’s been a blast."