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Former Pirate Ryan Woodward new bench coach

The Picton Pirates are looking to their past to fill a coaching vacancy.
The local Junior C hockey club announced today former Pirate Ryan Woodward will be taking a bench coach position under the tutelage of head coach Darren Yuill.
The Woodward appointment comes as the team, which starts its training camp in Wellington Aug. 16, says good bye to Nathan Vader.
Vader was a first year assistant coach with the club in 2009-10 when the Pirates set a ten year high in number of regular season wins (22) tied a 10-year high in number of points (45).
“Obviously losing Nathan after just one year wasn’t part of the plan, but he’s earned himself a wonderful opportunity to be part of great staff with the Quinte Red Devils organization,” Pirates GM Jason Parks said.
Vader joins another Pirate Alum in Evan Osterhout on the bench of the Quinte Minor Midget squad this upcoming season.
Parks said he expects Vader to bring the same enthusiasm to the minor ranks as he did to the Pirates.
“Video break downs, nutrition, you name it, Nathan was very keen on all the little things that matter in creating a winning environment,” Parks said.
In replacing Vader, the Pirates turn to fellow Picton alumnus Woodward.
Both players played on the Pirates’ 1999 Empire championship squad.
“From one champion to another,” quipped Parks.
Woodward brings the Pirates a great coaching acumen that includes time on the bench of the Wellington Dukes.
As a player, Woodward helped lead the Dukes to the Royal Bank Cup tournament in 2003 and later, was the captain of the 2007 NCAA Division III champion Oswego State Lakers.
“As a player and a leader, he’s won wherever he’s played and he brings that same passion for winning to the bench that he did as a player,” Pirates Director of Player Personnel Greg Verner added. “We are excited about bringing in Ryan to our already great coaching staff.”
Having Woodward on the bench isn’t the only new wrinkle to the Pirates this season.
As the club embarks on its 22nd season, they will do so in redesigned uniforms that maintain the infamous pirate rat logo.
“They are really sharp and I think our reputation for being the best dressed team in the league is safe,” Verner said.
The club recently announced its exhibition schedule which will include a game against arch rival Napanee at the Yardmen Arena, part of the Belleville Bulls Junior Hockey Festival on Sunday, Sept. 5.
“I’ve had a great number of veterans already request to be a part of that game, so I think it will be a little bit more exciting then just your average exhibition game,” Parks said.
Puck drop is at 10:45 am and the contest is the opener of a triple header that includes the Bulls taking on the Oshawa Generals at 2:00 pm and the Dukes playing the Quinte Golden Hawks at 5:30 pm.
Admission for all three games is $10.

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