Ice Hockey - Phantoms can win the play-offs says McGiffin

Cam McGiffin scored his first league goal at the weekend.

Cam McGiffin scored his first league goal at the weekend.

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Teen talent Cam McGiffin is convinced Phantoms can clinch English Premier League play-off glory.

The highly-rated defenceman scored the first league goal of his senior career when setting the city team on the way to a 5-3 victory in Manchester last Sunday.

McGiffin has enjoyed an impressive debut season in Phantoms colours after previously playing for player-coach Slava Koulikov at Slough.

And he is adamant it can come complete with play-off success over the Easter weekend as Phantoms attempt to claim their first honours since the treble season of 2008-09.

“It was great to get my first league goal last weekend,” said McGiffin. “I did score against Solway in one of the cup games, but the other boys were quick to let me know they were not counting that!

“It has gone very well for me on a personal level with Phantoms. I moved away from family in Swindon to take this opportunity and being part of a good team that has been winning plenty of games has been a huge help.

“Now it is all about ensuring we hit our team goals. At our pre-season camp we were told that anyone who didn’t believe we were capable of winning something this season could just walk out of the room there and then.

“That immediately gave us the belief and we have retained it ever since. We may not have the most talent on our team, but we have great heart and we are not going to give up on our dream.

“We feel we can not only get to Coventry, but also win the play-offs. We wouldn’t turn up week in, week out if we didn’t feel that way.”

Phantoms must first negotiate the final half-a-dozen games of the regular season before they can contemplate a tilt at play-off glory.

They will again face Manchester on Sunday at Planet Ice (5.30pm) as the coming weekend’s fixture are the reverse of those played last weekend. That clash is preceded by a trip to champions Telford on Saturday (7.15pm).

McGiffin added: “A lot of people seem to think it will be Telford against one other team in the play-off final.

“We have the belief that we can make it to the final so we need to prove again that we can give them a great game.

“It is going to be a very tough weekend as Manchester will want revenge for our win in their rink, but we need to show we are not here to be pushed around.”