Belfast Giants: Ciaran books a longer stay in Belfast as Norris exits the squad

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Signings for the Belfast Giants have continued apace this week and today there has been one more signing but the departure of a popular name.

First it was confirmed that 33-year-old Ciaran Long would be returning for the 2024/25 season.

First arriving in Belfast for the 2019/20 season, Long has recorded over 250 appearances for the Giants across four seasons, contributing over 100 total points in the process.

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Ahead of the 2023/24 season, Long was named as one of the club’s alternate captains after playing an integral role in the treble-winning 2022/23 campaign.

Belfast Giants’ Ciaran Long will be returning for the 2024/5 season. Photo by William Cherry/PresseyeBelfast Giants’ Ciaran Long will be returning for the 2024/5 season. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Belfast Giants’ Ciaran Long will be returning for the 2024/5 season. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Adam Keefe, head coach of the Belfast Giants, said: “Ciaran is an incredibly versatile player, who is comfortable just about anywhere on the ice. His willingness to play where he’s needed, coupled with a strong work ethic and competitive nature, make him a real asset to the game we want to play.

“Off the ice, Ciaran’s presence is felt in the locker room, and he really took the role of alternate captain in his stride last season. I’m very pleased that he’ll be returning for another season as a Giant.”

Prior to joining the Giants, Long had three spells with fellow Elite League side Manchester Storm, icing over 130 times for the Altrincham-based club.

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In addition to his domestic accolades, Long has also represented Team GB’s U18s, U20s, and senior men’s teams, featuring as part of 2021 roster for the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships in Latvia.

Commenting on re-signing with the Belfast Giants, Ciaran Long said: “I’m very happy to be coming back for another season. As everyone knows, I’ve made a family here in Northern Ireland, so Belfast will always be a special place for me to play.

“I’m definitely looking forward to getting back on the ice in front of the fans, but for now, I can’t wait to reset and spend some quality family time with Hannah and Jonah.”

But on the downside, it was announced that forward and GB international Sean Norris had opted to sign for the Guildford Flames, making Norris the first confirmed exit from the Giants.

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Paul Dixon, the Flames’ coach, said on the club’s website: “Sean is a terrific young player and is a great addition to our projected forward line up.

“His selection to the recent national team’s appearance at the Elite pool world championships is a clear indication of the level at which he is capable of playing.”

2024/25 Belfast Giants season tickets are on sale now. For more information or to secure your seat, please click here.

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