Lightning to part company with coach Pete Russell at the end of the season

Pete Russell
Pete Russell

Head coach Pete Russell will leave MK Lightning at the end of the season after three years at the club.

Russell helped guide Lightning to success in the English Premier League, taking MKL to League Cup and Play Off tournament success, and has led the club through its inaugural season in the EIHL.

After reviewing the current season earlier this week owners Monica and Graham Moody together with Coach Pete Russell mutually agreed to part company at the end of the current campaign.

“I’ll leave Milton Keynes with some very special memories that will stay with me – and my family, too," said Russell. "It’s been three very eventful years and I wouldn’t change a thing, because every challenge we faced made me a stronger person and coach.

"From doing the double last season, some of the unreal home results this season and of course qualifying for the last 8 of the Challenge Cup, to the injuries and suspensions that have hit us hard. The fans have backed the club, players and me through all of it, and that means a massive amount to all of us, thank you.

“I want to thank Mike Petrouis for bringing me here in the first place and also to John Neville, Sarah-Jane Smyth, Blaz Emersic, Micky Kemp and all the Planet Ice staff who’ve been brilliant to me and my family. A huge thanks to Dave Bunyan and the Supporters’ Club whose backing is so special at Lightning and a vital part of its success.

“Finally, I can only wish this club nothing but the very best, from the bottom of my heart. Monica and Graham Moody have big hearts and love this great sport. They are here for the long haul and I wish them every success in achieving their dreams. We will meet another day.”

MKL owners Graham and Monica Moody added: “We can assure you that from what we have seen of Pete during this season, his ambition and drive will see him thrive and succeed in any future endeavors.

"His teams play an exciting style of hockey – and win or lose, he makes your heart pump with excitement. For everything he has brought to this game and this team we are sincerely thankful.

"We will continue to work together in the final push for the play offs. Everyone will be giving everything right until the end. Anyone who knows Pete understands how much passion and desire he has for this club and that will never stop.

"Ice hockey is a small world and we surely will cross paths again, but for now we wish him and his family the very best.”