Blackburn Junior Hawks are delighted to be able to announce Matt Darlow as their new Director of Hockey for the 2016/17 Season.
The Blackburn Hawks senior team Head Coach has agreed to take on responsibility for the junior section of the club too, bringing his 20 years of coaching experience to the club as a whole. Matt replaces outgoing Director of Hockey, Iain Hanson who has decided to retire at the end of the 2015/16 season. Under Iain’ guidance the fortunes of the Blackburn Juniors have changed dramatically, and the impact that Iain has had around the place cannot be understated.
Matt comes to the role as Director of Hockey after an impressive 20 years of coaching, with experience of head coach roles at all levels and twice nominated for coach of the year at senior level. His appointment will cause excitement throughout the club, and we are looking forward to Matt getting to work developing the good talent that we have in the junior ranks
On his appointment, Matt commented
“It’s an honour to have the trust the board have placed in me as the new Director of Hockey here in Blackburn. The past few weeks have been hectic & this role adds to my excitement at joining the hockey family in Blackburn.
My focus is on delivering world class training & development to the young players & the coaching staff here to ensure we grow as a group & build on the progression seen here over the past few seasons. I am following in the path of Iain Hanson who has had a tremendous impact on the club & I give my grateful thanks to Iain on having left the club in as positive a state as he has. My focus is on putting a lot of time into our coaches & upon building a cohesive 3-5 year plan for the club in order that we maximise the enjoyment, fun & above all give our young athletes the pathway to development at all levels of the game.
We start work immediately as a group & I’m excited to be part of the whole fabric of Blackburn ice hockey moving forward”
Club Chair Matt Strong had this to say about Matt Darlow’s new role with the juniors
“Replacing Iain as Director of Hockey was never going to be an easy task. I tried to convince him not to retire but anyone who has met Iain knows once he has made his mind up you can’t change it. There are not a lot of top quality coaches out there that want to travel to Blackburn and be part of what we are trying to achieve here. From my very first meeting with Matt, I was impressed by him as a person as well as a coach. He has a vast amount of experience, but is still enthusiastic for developing young people into world class hockey players. He is very professional and engaging and I am sure he will fit in with our organisation well.
Matt’s goals for the next season are aligned with our own, and so this made the decision to offer him the role of Director of Hockey here at Blackburn Junior Hawks an easy one to make. We will support him with his endeavours and look forward to seeing what this next season brings. However, this appointment is still part of a longer term plan for the club. We expect the growth we have seen over the last four years to continue season on season until our club is competing at the highest levels possible”
Matt officially takes up his role as Director of Hockey at Blackburn Junior Hawks on the 1st August ready for the new season. He will be responsible for all junior teams from u9s to u20s.