VETERAN Paisley Pirates netminder Gordon Langford says he wants to sign off as a player with an SNL title medal.
The 41-year-old has been used sparingly as his team made a credible challenge to league leaders and current champions Kirkcaldy Kestrels in these final weeks of the season.
And he’s warned that Pirates can’t afford to make any slip ups ahead of this weekend’s two away matches at Kilmarnock Storm and Edinburgh Capitals.
He said: “Winning is the only option for us, to give us the best chance of winning the league. Realistically improving our goal difference should not be something we are chasing, wins are the more tangible target.
“But we certainly can’t afford any slip-ups in these final games and winning the SNL would be a fantastic achievement for us.
“On paper we always had the potential, but on a personal note, this is likely to be my last season playing competitively so it would be special to end with a league win.”
Pirates are certainly heading into the weekend on top form, with nine wins from 10 in all competitions and will be looking to take that further.
Their 4-2 win against North Ayrshire Wild last Sunday kept them to within two points of the Kestrels and with a game in hand.
And that spare game comes up first when Pirates go to The Galleon to face Kilmarnock Storm on Saturday.
Langford refuses to take the bottom of the table side lightly and also warned of Edinburgh’s threat when they head to Murrayfield a day later.
He added: “Kilmarnock have had a tough season, but they are a group of battlers and I’m sure their last game will have given them more confidence.
“We will setup as we always do, with the expectation of a tough competitive game ahead.
“As for Sunday, I think it’s a pivotal game for all the league challengers and it depends on which team Edinburgh ices.
“They have the advantage of being able to bolster their team when it suits them, which I’m sure they will do on Sunday.”
Langford also revealed the secret of his team’s success so far in this campaign and talked about the work of coach Ian Turley has done in getting Paisley to this position.
The netminder said: “Simple hard work and belief has been the key to what we’ve done this year. In the past, we struggled if we went down early.
“This season, we haven’t let it bother us and just continued battling. That amongst great defensive play and goaltending has kept us winning as well as having conceded the least number of goals in the league. ]
“Plus we have Ian, who’s a very committed guy and runs the team as close to a professional unit as you can in the league we are in.
“He always pushes the aspect of winning hockey by playing the game hard, fair, never giving up and ending the game with heads held high.
“We try to take things one game at a time and make sure we empty the tank every game and we’ll do that again this weekend.”