New coach Jeremy Cornish confident shake-up of Streatham has Redhawks skating toward success

It’s been all change at Streatham Ice Hockey Club, but new coach Jeremy Cornish is confident the Redhawks are now going in the right direction.

The 36-year-old Canadian replaced Nicky Chinn as head coach two weeks ago after a start to the season that saw them lose six of their first 10 games in league and cup.

But already Cornish – who coached Wightlink Raiders until their ring was shut down last month and they were forced to abandoned their season – has turned things around with an influx of new players.

He immediately brought in six players from the Raiders squad and let five go from the Streatham team, and this week added two more Raiders players, forward Alex Sampford and defenseman Vaclav Drabek.

The changes are working though as the Redhawks  won for the first time at home in the league against Bracknell Hornets on October 30, and only narrowly lost 2-1 to early season pace-setters Chelmsford Chieftains last Sunday.

Cornish said: “The lads showed resilience in both games and instead of sinking their heads like they were doing at the start of the season they are keeping positive.

“I really like the way those I have bought in play and if I want the best start as coach I need the best team – the were key to bring in.

“Things needed a bit of a shake-up and a change to move forward but the team have loads of potential.”

Already securing himself a successful reputation as a tactician and team builder, the ex-raiders coach has high hopes for the south London club.

“We are already sitting fourth in the league which is really positive and if we train hard we could definitely have a chance at winning,” Cornish said.

“I have been surprised how well run the club is and there is definitely a great team behind the players.”

Cornish led Raiders to the play-off final last season, where they lost 10-5 on aggregate to Chelmsford, and he admitted his disappointment by the Isle of Wight-based team’s demise.

“There was a lot of adversity on the island,” he said.

“It’s sad that it is over but we needed a clean cut.”

Before turning his hand to coaching, Cornish played professionally in the Elite League with Sheffield Steelers, Newcastle Vipers, London Racers and Basingstoke Bison.

“It’s a great way to stay connected to the game and be involved,” said the father of two.

“This is my social life now as well because you don’t get to go out at the weekends or to the pub with your mates because the games are on both days at the weekend.

“That is why you have to want to do it, you have to enjoy it especially at this level because there is no money involved and it takes up so much of your life otherwise what’s the point.”

Streatham face a double header this weekend against Invicta Dynamos at home on Saturday and then away at Milton Keynes Thunder on Sunday.

Feature image courtesy of Rick Webb, with thanks

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