Milton Keynes Lightning coach Doug McKay says he’s keen to develop the group he has at his disposal – but admits his arrival into the UK was ‘inconvenient’.
The experienced coach finally arrived nearly a fortnight ago as a visa delay meant he had to miss the team’s training camp and early pre-season fixtures.
But with pre-season firmly behind them, McKay highlighted positives from his experience in working with the club so far.
“The visa delay wasn’t that bad and it just meant the team had training camp without me and I’ve been here for over a week now so I’ve been working with the team,” he said.
“It’s been a little unconventional certainly, but the players have done a nice job in preparing and everything’s been in order
“Obviously, we’ve got a young and inexperienced team and half the players had their first taste of a pro game last weekend, but there’s a nice group with character and a good work ethic there.
“I think we can really with them and develop them and really bring a culture of very high compete level.”
Lightning sprung a surprise in beating Sheffield Steelers 3-2 on the road last Saturday before Paul Thompson’s side took the points in a 5-2 win at MK.
And McKay admits he was pleasantly taken aback and has already done his due diligence to know this season will be a challenge for his team.
He said: “It was a nice weekend for us and back at home, we had good fan support. We were down 3-2 late in the third, lost a couple of penalties and they scored.
“But the fans were right there to the end and that’s pretty gratifying as a coach.
“Preparations are going well, but you have to remember the last game with Coventry can be a little misleading as it was a pre-season, plus they didn’t play their starting goalie and rested some players.
“We were fortunate that night, but we’re preparing the way we did last week and we expect two very difficult games.
“When you look at the league and the depth of the rosters, I don’t think there’s going to be one easy night for MK Lightning.”
LISTEN: McKay settled into life at MK