After a couple of weeks on the job, we sat down with Bulldogs new bench boss Joe Martin to get his thoughts on his early days with the club!
Q: Tell us about your first few weeks as a Bulldog, is it still a little strange after so long in Merritt?
A: It is a bit different, there is a lot of golf shirts I have to stop putting on in the morning now. I feel like the new player walking into the room. I just want to get out there and work with the guys to improve. That feeling will be with me everywhere.
Q: The Bulldogs finished 4th in the Island Division last season, but are eligible to return lots of faces. Is there anything about the roster that excites you?
A: The roster is exciting for sure, we return quality people in every position. That is key. I’ve had great conversations with the guys, they’re excited. A big bonus is the staff and veteran presence. We all want to prove ourselves.
Q: After 8 seasons in Merritt, what do you take away from your time there?
A: The biggest take away I’ve learned is to surround yourself with good people. When you do good things happen for all those involved. Junior hockey is a great time in these young men’s life, our staff plays an important role in that time, I look forward to continuing this in Port Alberni.
Q: The Interior Division is widely regarded as one of the toughest divisions in all of Jr. Hockey, is there anything you take away from your time in that division that will hopefully lead to success in Port Alberni?
A: Yes, the interior is a great division, every night two points are hard to come by. In order to prepare players for this, they need to understand the level of competition in the BCHL. You can get a lot of that done in your everyday habits. Every day try to get better.
Q: What stood out about the opportunity in Port Alberni that had you and your family so excited to join the Bulldogs?
A. My family has been in Alberni a few times, vacationed with my parents in Ucluelet and we’ve spent numerous camping trips south of Tofino. The area is some of the most breathtaking scenery in BC.
We’ve heard good things about raising our two boys in Alberni and look forward to being a part of the community.
The Weyerhaeuser arena has always stuck out in my mind in a positive manner. Its a hard place for opponents play and a top-notch facility for players to call home.