Cup final success may help transform Blackburn Hawks

BLACKBURN Hawks’ player assistant coach Danny Brittle believes winning Sunday’s play-off final at Billingham could be “just the start” for the club – after tipping them to go from strength to strength.

Hawks travel to the north east with a slender 2-1 lead from the first leg but, after a stunning end to their English National Ice Hockey League campaign, netminder Brittle insists they don’t fear the league champions.

Blackburn’s main Ice Hockey side are searching for their first piece of major silverware and Brittle believes success on Sunday would be a major boost for the club’s future.

He said: “This is massive for the club. I had not realised we had not won a trophy and we want to put an end to that.

“We were disappointed to finish third in the league but winning the play-offs would be a great way to end the season.

“As long as the backing is there to enable us to keep moving forward, I think this could be the start of good things for the club in the future. If the backing isn’t there, it of course becomes very difficult.

“Winning this though would be a big boost to our hopes of keeping our best players.

“Everyone wants to play at the best level they can. Playing in front of 1,300 in the play off final is as good as it gets, so that has to help.

“I think it is all about the mindset.

“Our players used to be happy enough to win every other game but now we have that winning mentality. We want to win every game.”

Hawks go into tomorrow’s play-off final second leg at Billingham as underdogs, with the hosts having already claimed the league title and confident they can overturn their visitor’s slight advantage.

Brittle though believes his side’s two-legged semi final win over Whitley Warriors has given them belief that they can pull off another upset to lift the trophy.

He said: “The win at Whitley has given us all massive confidence. We surprised a lot of people, maybe even ourselves, when we beat them at their place.

“Myself and coach Jared Owen have expected results for a couple of seasons now. We were disappointed to just squeeze into the play offs last season and to finish third in the league this time around.”

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