Nottingham panthers coach set to leave to take job in Europe ahead of next season
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Neilson has told the club that he has accepted a coaching role in Europe ahead of the new season 2023/24. The 46-year-old had spent the past four seasons coaching in some of Europe’s top leagues going on to win DEL2 Coach of the Year in 2018-1 before he joined the Panthers as Head Coach in November 2022.
He has a long history with the club stretching back to 2006 when he won two trophies as a player before adding 12 more titles as a coach and his number 77 shirt hangs in the rafters at Motorppoint Arena.
CEO, Omar Pacha, said: "I'd like to thank Corey for his time with the Panthers. Anytime you change your coach mid-season is difficult and Corey came in during a period of much change. I know he truly loves this club and is so passionate about the Panthers.”
"Corey will always be a Panthers legend - the trophy-winning photos in the dressing room and the retired shirt that hangs from the rafters are a testament to that. On behalf of everyone connected with the Panthers, I would like to wish Corey, Joanne, Cade and Logan all the best for the future."
Fans reacted to the news online amid a busy weekend for Panthers supporters in Nottingham.
One person wrote: “Came in and helped us believe for a second we could achieve something. Thanks for coming back to us at our lowest point. All the best in Germany. A club legend.” Another added: “Never-ending turnover of coaches and players. Sad to see Corey go but good luck. Doubt anything will change for us as a team tho.”
Neilson had previously declared that the ‘call to come back to Nottingham was strong’ and that he was looking forward to the challenge.
He said in a statement at the time: "The call to come back to Nottingham was strong. I am looking forward to the challenge. I have been watching Panthers as a fan from afar for five years now, doing my stuff in different countries and trying to improve myself.
"I saw that Panthers were struggling a little bit and I wanted to be part of that solution. I want things to be better. I love the Nottingham Panthers, I always have - ever since I walked through the door. I think this is a great opportunity to take some positive strides."