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Coach Keefe confirmed for another Giant season

The Stena Line Belfast Giants have announced that Adam Keefe has re-signed as head coach.

Arguably the club’s most important signing of the season, Keefe returns to lead the Giants in 2022/23 for what will be his 12th year with the club.

Widely referred to as “the heartbeat” of the club, Keefe has made a huge impact in Belfast, on and off the ice.

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During his six years as a player and his five seasons on the bench, ‘Keefer’ has left an indelible mark on the Giants organisation and fanbase.

Belfast Giants coach Adam Keefe celebrate winning the Challenge Cup after defeating the Cardiff Devils in overtime in the Challenge Cup Final at the SSE Arena, Belfast, last season. Picture: William Cherry/Presseye

Playing a critical role in the team’s success over the last decade, he was integral to leading the organisation to four of its six Elite League championships wins, as well as three Challenge Cups.

With his eyes set on success from the beginning, Keefe won his first League title in his debut season for the Giants in 2011/12. Graduating to captain in 2012/13, he went on to lead the Giants to a record points total in 2013/14, as the team clinched the championship with 10 games still remaining.

As head coach, Keefe has continued his winning ways, securing two more league titles and three Challenge Cups for the Teal Army, including an historic double last season as the Giants emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic to win both the League and Challenge Cup titles for 2021/22.

Having recently returned from the World Championships with Team GB, coach Keefe is hard at work assembling his 2022/23 Giants team that will compete on all fronts as the organisation goes in search of its seventh Elite League championship.

Commenting on the announcement, Steve Thornton, head of hockey operations said: “We could not be happier to confirm that Adam is returning for his 12th season with the Belfast Giants.

“No player has had the impact that Keefer has had, for this team, this city and our local community. He is an integral part of ‘Team Belfast’ and one of the best leaders I have seen in action.

“Adam knows what it takes to win, and his proven track record gives us confidence as we begin to build towards another important season for the Belfast Giants.”

Adam Keefe added: “I’m proud to be returning for another season with the Belfast Giants off the back of an incredible season.

“Our fans and the city of Belfast want and deserve to win trophies and I know what is required of me as I head into the next season.

“Whilst the summer gives us a short time to pause and reflect, there’s no time to waste and we have our eyes firmly fixed on building a team that will help us defend our title in 2022/23.

“We’re hard at work on recruitment, with more signing announcements due imminently. I am fully committed to putting the best team on the ice, continuing to deliver for the Teal Army and the city of Belfast.”

The Belfast Giants can also confirm that Keefe has been awarded his testimonial, in recognition of his outstanding and valued long-service to the club and the city of Belfast.

Dates for the Adam Keefe testimonial game and a series of surrounding events are expected to be announced in 2023.

More about Coach Keefe

Famous for his no-nonsense style of play on the ice and popularity off it. No player has made an impact on the Giants organisation like Adam Keefe since his arrival back in 2011.

Keefe has played a crucial role in leading the organisation to win three of its five Elite League championships.

With his eyes set on success in from the beginning, Keefe won his first League title in his debut season for the Giants in 2011/12. Graduating to captain in 2012/13, he led the Giants to a record points total as the team clinched the championship with 10 games still remaining in 2013/14.

During his six seasons on the ice in Belfast, he played in 352 games and posted 56 goals, 78 assists, 134 points as well as 1,082 Penalty Minutes.

In 2017, Adam Keefe became the ninth head coach of the Belfast Giants, after carrying out the role of player/assistant coach in the previous two seasons.

As head coach, Keefe secured two League titles and three Challenge Cups for the Teal Army, including an historic double last season as the Giants emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic to clinch both the League and Challenge Cup titles for 2021/22.