Joey McEwan is the new assistant coach for the Fernie Ghostriders. Photo Submitted

Ghostriders hire new assistant coach

Longtime hockey player and coach, Joey McEwan, is joining the team this upcoming season

The Fernie Ghostriders hockey team hired a new assistant coach, Joey McEwan, for their upcoming 2020-2021 season.

Growing up in Kelowna playing minor hockey, McEwan has a long and successful background in hockey, having contributed to the sport in many different capacities as a player, coach, and administrator.

“The coaches have laid out a good foundation and the team has had awesome success in the regular season,” said McEwan. “I want to build off that, using my hockey knowledge and background to best support the organization, work with the players, develop them, and give players the tools to achieve their goals.”

McEwan looks forward to integrating himself into Fernie’s community, while also helping grow a program close to his heart. With an extensive portfolio as a player, McEwan has played in the Junior B Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL), the Junior A British Columbia Hockey League, for the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy in Kelowna, and for the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

As staff, McEwan has coached at the college level in the American Collegiate Hockey Association, helped out in minor hockey leagues, and worked for the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy, as well as with Team British Columbia.

“We are also really excited to add Joey to our staff for the 2020-2021 season. He brings an extensive hockey background to the Ghostriders…and will add an element to our team that will continue to promote players on to the next level,” said head coach Jeff Wagner.

Despite COVID-19 related difficulties, Ghostriders coaching staff remain optimistic for the upcoming season. According to Wagner, the main closure affecting the off season has been that of evaluation camps. Being stripped of the opportunity to watch players compete in camps has made it difficult to project where they fit in the line up. However, according to Wagner, the team relied on video conversations with coaches to continue the process.

With a celebrated group of core players to lean on coming back into the regular season, as well as some newly recruited high level players, the Ghostriders look forward to adding to the foundation they have built the past two seasons, and competing among the league’s top teams.

At the moment, the KIJHL is working towards releasing a tentative starting date in the coming weeks. The Ghostriders are currently working alongside the City of Fernie to outline reopening procedures for the Fernie Memorial Arena, as well as with provincial health authorities to ensure proper guidelines will be followed upon returning to play.

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