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True Stars

Published: 10/04/2017 at 14:38

Now that the 2016/17 Elite League has finally concluded we have the opportunity to review all that the last seven months has brought us. It has been a roller coaster season but it certainly has be a lot of fun thanks to Marc LeFebvre and his troops.

The club’s solid and continually improving infrastructure is built around a long list of hardworking and highly talented individuals who work closely as a team to bring you Dundee CCS Stars hockey. It is a roster that Stars head coach Marc LeFebvre would be proud of and it is a group that money just can’t buy.

The vast majority of game night staff are volunteers and we are very grateful for all they give to club across a long hockey season. Win or lose these guys are there for us. They are all class acts.

So where do I start. The best place is in the hockey heavens or more precisely the back row of the Dundee Ice Arena where StarsTV have their kennel. The league leading channel is made up of the barkers in the shape of Wayne “Young Dog” Easson, Graham “Old Dog” Easson and Dave “Hot Dog” Sweetin. The three “Dugs” are complimented by the Stars’ highly talented journalist Stephen “The Official Line” Swann. Few people in the Elite League work as hard as this quartet and their output is second to none.

In addition the channel, under the header of DundeeStarsLive, provides high quality webcasts which are the envy of so many clubs across the Elite League. Add in Dave and Stephen’s professional hockey coverage which is blasted out on BridgeFM and you can see that all the bases are covered by this fantastic line-up.

As soon as you enter the Dundee Ice Arena you will meet some great people. Doormen Scott Alexander, Ryan Percy and Bob Whitton will give you a warm welcome and that is only the start. Rink manager Neil Craik and his hardworking staff are on hand to make sure you have a great night in Starland.

Once safely inside the arena you will be talking-the-talk with some top ladies. Scarves, jerseys, photos, 50/50 tickets, programmes, chuck-a-pucks and a chunk of other Stars merchandise is snapped by hockey fans each game night. This all takes place under the watchful and pleasant to the eye super group of Darlene Malone, June Ward, Debbie Ward, Liz Davidson, Gail Fraser and Geraldine Alexander.

Our world is now a visual affair and the Stars are certainly lucky to have award winning photographer Derek Black on their books to catch all the action. Derek is one of the most liked and highly thought of guys in British hockey and we are very lucky to have such a great talent in Starland.

Adding some would Wooooooo! Is our charismatic announcer Andy McArtney and bringing the base is the young and very capable Dean Flynn. Both link-up on game night to make the evening rock and keep all fans up-to-date with all that is happening on the ice pad.

In this modern world of digital communication Martin Boag provides the hockey globe with match night updates whilst Don Shearer powers the Stars website and its many social media platforms. The supporting cast is strong with Graeme Johnston managing our E-tickets. Communication has never been so important and we have never been so strong in this area.

Thanks to the outstanding work of Michael Ward Jnr our community programme has spiked this year. Michael has linked up with many schools, youth clubs and charities allowing the Dundee CCS Stars message to get out there. Along the way the Stars Community Programme has lent an assist in educating many, many youngsters on the benefits of good health and diligently applying themselves at school. Michael’s contribution to the wellbeing of all those in and around Starland has simply been fantastic.

Also on the rise was the number of new sponsors and our digital media coverage. We can thank our commercial manager Elliot Shaw for this outstanding progress. Elliot who also runs shotgun with Michael on the community programme, has certainly done a great job since coming on board last summer.

Each season the Stars publish over 30 programmes. Our weekly game night magazine is led by the hardest working guy in Starland the highly talented Graham Easson - few guys make a bigger contribution to hockey in Dundee or around the UK than our Old Dog. His supporting troop are all top tier. The incredible Bettyblueline (Dawn Johnston); the wise old hockey guru Angus Loon (Ian McMaster); the zebra leaning Stargazer (Ged Cashley); the elite Ron Gabriel; and the statistically zoned Dave “Hot Dog” Sweetin. The weekly magazine has the best starting six in the league.

The social calendar is a big deal in Starland and we are very grateful for all the work of the Dundee CCS Stars Social Site led by the enigmatic Gail Mallarkey. Her team have done an outstanding job this season.

The upbeat quartet of Veronica Smith, Wendy Addison, Justine Noon and Hamish Evatt manage our legendary Gerard Cashley upwards in the timekeepers’ box. They together are the famous five of Stars hockey. They are supported by excellent Steven Mitchell, Lara Eaton, Kevin Wallace and Ben Craib who run shifts in the red light district. They are all a great bunch and they are the people who make hockey fun.

Of course we cannot forget the Stars law enforcement officer the tough as nails....well sometimes tough as nails....penalty gate keepers and friends of the toughest guys in hockey the studious, patient and always disciplined George Carr and Richard Smith.

Sadly we recently lost one of our great people when Andy Gilruth passed away. He embodied all what was great about Dundee CCS Stars hockey. Andy was humble, kind, polite and so many other great things. We will miss Andy who will forever be a Star.

We have a fantastic off-ice team in Starland. They work endless hours to bring you the best show in town. They do it for one reason alone and that is for our greatest asset our fabulous fans. We are lucky to have so many great people in the Stars organisation.

Stephen Ward
Director – Dundee CCS Stars

Mike Ward
Director – Dundee CCS Stars
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