The 2017 Botany Swarm will take the ice for their 13th season with a host of changes in store as they seek their fifth Birgel Cup.
After 11 seasons on the bench, head coach Andreas Kaißer has stepped down, and will be replaced by former Swarm alumnus Brandon Contratto.
Andreas coached the team to all four of their previous Birgel Cup victories, holds the NZIHL record for games coached with 151, and for wins with 85. He also holds the NZIHL record for coaching the most regular season Premiereships, with three in 2006, 2010 and 2011.
He has also served as head coach or assistant coach for the New Zealand Men’s U18s twice, the Senior Men’s team six times, and the Senior Women’s team in their most recent tournament, with four of those teams gaining silver or bronze medals in their respective tournaments.
The value of Andreas’s contributions to the team and to New Zealand ice hockey as a whole through the past 13 years simply cannot be overstated.
The Swarm are and will always been deeply grateful for the time, energy and efforts he has put into coaching and building the team through the years. We would like to extend our greatest thanks to Andreas, and to his family, who have equally given much of their time and energy to supporting the team over the years.