EIHL: CUP WEEKEND A GOOD FOUNDATION

12 September 2017

Edinburgh Capitals General Manager Scott Neil hailed the success of the Scottish Elite Cup weekend, but admits it was planned to be better.

The four Scottish teams converged on Murrayfield for a mini tournament with Braehead Clan coming out on top to take the silverware.

But Neil revealed plans to make it more of a festival were thwarted after Scottish Premier League side Hearts had to move their fixtures to Murrayfield Stadium.

“I think we finished with an excellent final in a competitive game with two teams going out and wanted to win.  It was a great finale,” he said.

“I think we expected to do better in terms of numbers, but logistically, there were a lot of issues in the background that prevented us from making it better.

“We had a fanzone planned in the SRU compound area around the stadium, drink and food outlets, interactive games and merchandise stalls.

“We were really trying to make it a mini Nottingham finals weekend and wanted to deliver that for the fans to start the season.

“But Hearts moving their game to the stadium, it created huge problems and took that opportunity to make it a real fan festival weekend away.

“We’ve got the tournament up and running and it’s something I think will go from strength to strength and that final was a great end to it.”

The tournament is due to move to Fife next year with each club getting the chance to host it going forward.

Neil believes the Kirkcaldy rink will be a great venue for the 2018 event and moving forward reckons it will be a competition that can capture the imagination of the fans.

He added: “Fife will be a great venue for it next year and it’s another step, taking it to another arena.  What we want to try and create is a Scottish finals weekend where fans can support the sport.

“If that momentum can be taken forward, I think it will be a really good tournament the fans will buy into and we were lucky we got such an entertaining game to finish off this year’s competition.

“From an organisational point of view, I think the clubs will perhaps have to work closer together on various things.

“We’ve invested in a lot of stuff that can generate more going forward.  There’s the nice new trophy, which is in Braehead’s possession.

“It’s a statement the four clubs want to create a unique event every year and I think it will go from strength to strength.”