Glen Hanlon: ‘I’d like to return the public’s sense of respect and pride in the national team’

New head coach of Belarusian national squad Glen Hanlon shares his opinions on his return to Minsk and recalls his previous work in the country
By Yegor Glebov

In autumn 2009, you were scandalously dismissed from Dynamo Minsk, having helped them achieve good results. Did you take it as a personal insult?
No, as I’m aware that the decisions made in hockey aren’t always in your favour. I prefer to think about the good times rather than the bad.

Belarusians speculated on why you were dismissed, saying that you’d asked for a million Dollars fee. Can you comment? 
I’ve returned because I like Belarus and Belarusians and I believe that, in 2005, several hard-working people began a mission which went uncompleted. With the help of Belarusian coaches, fans and players, something wonderful will happen, to the credit of the whole country. I’ve returned for money and have signed a contract for more than a year to show that my intentions are long-term. I’m here to work with coaches and managers and to return respect to Belarusian hockey.

Belarusian hockey players have a goal: to reach the top four at the World Championship in Minsk. What are our chances (considering that we only reached 14th place recently)?
Our goal is to play forcefully and with strategy. Work is needed and I am responsible for our success. My task is to bring all the elements together at a higher level, so that the whole country can be proud of the squad after the championship.

How do you plan to achieve that?
My plan is to see as many players in action as possible. I’d like to meet all the players and coaches of Belarusian squads. It’s important that everyone understands that we need to move fast, playing like lions rather than lambs. Much work and concentration will be needed and we shouldn’t waste a single day. Play is improving globally, and we need to keep pace. I can help the players and team in this.
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