Bayliss makes tough call

Monday, 3rd November 2003

Having won his first game as bench coach of the Manchester Phoenix, former Altrincham Aces coach Paul ‘Nipper’ Bayliss has stepped down from the position. “I know in the long term I’m going to regret this decision,” Bayliss said. “But, there is a world of difference between the job I did for the Altrincham club and being involved with a fully professional outfit like the Phoenix.”

Bayliss continued, “Despite the win last night against Cardiff, I honestly felt I did not do that good a job and I explained that to Rick (Brebant) today when I told him I felt I should not continue. I was and remain honoured that the Phoenix gave me the opportunity, and I know I will probably live to regret this in the future, but being part of the Phoenix would be too much on top of my normal employment. I told Rick that even after just one game I realised that the level of commitment needed to do the club justice was not possible for me right now,” added the Altrincham ice hockey stalwart before expanding upon his decision process.

“The difference between running an amateur club training in the evenings and being part of a full-time professional operation is huge. With the Aces, I could be more adventurous in terms of game plan and execution, gung-ho almost in some respects. Rick does not have that big a luxury as he is under pressure to win games and fill the stands with fans – it’s not that I can’t and won’t shoulder that kind of responsibility and pressure, but I would not be able to do the club justice given my regular employment commitments.”

“I want to go on record as saying a huge thank you to Rick and the club for the chance they gave me and I wish them every success. The Phoenix are the hockey club in Manchester right now and they deserve the support and best wishes of everyone who loves the game.”

Brebant commented, “Naturally I’m disappointed but I respect Nippers’ integrity and honesty about his situation. I thought he did a good job on Sunday and tried to talk him out of it but, as the local lads have told me, once he’s made his mind up, he sticks to his decisions. Paul has done a great job developing the local players and I hope he gets back into junior hockey in some capacity soon – the game needs the passion and intensity that he brings to the table.”