Capitals coach tells Callum Boyd to ‘play smarter’

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Edinburgh Capitals forward Callum Boyd says his crash and bash style of play has been given the thumbs-up by the club’s new player-coach Riley Emmerson.

However, Boyd, who recently penned a new deal to return for a second year with the Murrayfield club, must learn to become a “smarter player” ahead of the new Elite League in September.

Boyd scored one goal and chipped in with five assists in his first season in the UK’s top-flight after joining Edinburgh from Kilmarnock Storm of the Scottish National League. He said: “I’m really happy to be back. I enjoyed the season last year, especially after moving up to such a high level.

“I knew the Elite League was going to be good, but the skill level really impressed me and at first I thought I was really going to struggle, but all in all I think I did better than expected.

“We played our last game of the season against Dundee, and the next day I had a chat with the club about coming back for this year. All I was hoping for was another season in Edinburgh, it’s just taken a couple of months to sort out.”

Although happy with his contribution last season, Boyd, who quickly won the hearts of Caps’ fans with his boundless energy, hard skating and willingness to hit anything that moved, is well aware he still has lots to learn. But he believes the appointment of Emmerson as player-coach can only help his game.

“It’s just the way I play,” said Boyd. “I like to get in and about everybody and have always enjoyed the physicality of the sport. I’m hoping to do more of the same this year, but obviously I want to improve and Riley has told me I need to work on becoming a smarter player.

“Even though he’s in Canada for the summer we have been in regular contact and when he was announced as coach he was at me to get signed up. He’s already come up with some ideas to help me become a better player, I think he’s really going to improve my game.”

Boyd, who for the last two years has combined ice hockey with representing Scotland on the Red Bull Crashed ice World Tour (essentially downhill speed skating with jumps and chicanes thrown in) is as yet unsure whether he will be competing in this year’s events which have taken him to destinations such as Saint Paul in America and Finland’s capital Helsinki.

Boyd said: “It’s still early so I’ve not had a chance to speak with Red Bull to see if that can continue but it’s been brilliant. My main focus this year is helping Edinburgh have a successful season, I’m excited by the players we have signed so far, Riley’s been telling me what to expect from them.”