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Northstars appoint new coach

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John Kennedy Jr will make the transition from the ice to the bench this Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) season as head coach of the Newcastle Rescue Northstars.

Kennedy, a defenceman who wore #5 for the Northstars for six years, will take the helm of Newcastle’s AIHL team in 2019.
He will be assisted by returning head associate coach Joe Theriault and associate coach Ray Sheffield.

“It’s an amazing honour to have been considered for the role and, to actually get it, it’s incredible,” Kennedy said.

“With an organisation like the Northstars, we’re expected to win.

“We’re expected to be one of the top four teams going into the finals each year.

“Our aim this year is getting back to that level of play that we know we’re capable of, which we’ve already started working on.

“Not only am I here to coach but I’m here to grow and develop players and grow and develop talent – I think that’s my strength as a coach.”

Kennedy, who was born in the United States, first joined the Northstars as an import in 2013. He is now an Australian citizen.

Northstars general manager, Garry Doré, said Kennedy’s expertise in training and development made him a top choice when it came to the selection of a new coach in the off season.

“Through the National Sports Academy John has been developing ice hockey across Australia through camps focusing on high performance and development,” Doré said.

“We’re looking to bring a lot of direction to the team this season.

“I have no doubt that John, with Joey and Ray beside him, will achieve our goals for the season and [we] will continue to be the most successful organisation in Australian ice hockey.”

The Northstars will open the 2019 AIHL season with a double header against Sydney Bears and Melbourne Ice at Hunter Ice Skating Stadium on April 27 and April 28.

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