YOU don’t have to be a massive cynic to feel your eyes rolling back in your head any time a North American tells you all about their Scottish ancestry. Malcolm Cameron, though, has the credentials to back it up.

“I’ve always wanted to go to Scotland and now I’m going to get the chance to live and work there,” says the new Glasgow Clan head coach.

“I’ve never been there before but Nova Scotia and in particular Cape Breton Island is pretty much a clone of Scotland in terms of landscape, weather, geography and names.

“A relative of ours traced our family coming over in the 1800s from the island of Tiree. And my family has really embraced its Scottish heritage.

“My great-grandfather was Malcolm Angus like me, my grandfather was John Angus, my father is Angus Charles, I have a brother Duncan, one of my sons is Breton Angus and the other is Logan Alexander. So we’ve always really kept the traditional Scottish names in our family.”

There is little fear, then, of the 51 year-old struggling with culture shock when he finally arrives on these shores on October 1 to start his new role.

The ice hockey team based out of the Braehead Arena in Renfrewshire are looking to emerge shortly from an extended period of Covid-enforced cold storage and have alighted on the experienced Canadian as the man to get them going again.

With playing behind closed doors never an option on financial grounds, the Clan and the rest of the UK-wide Elite League have been waiting for the moment when they can welcome fans back through the doors again.

That time seems to be imminent, with restrictions easing sufficiently to allow preparations for the restart of play after an 18-month break.

Clan have chosen to opt out of this season’s Challenge Cup to give themselves longer to prepare as they work instead towards a first home league game in early November.

That still doesn’t seem a huge time for Cameron to put together a squad and get them match ready but, down the line from his home in Florida, he does not come across as a man in any huge panic.

“Since I took the job it’s just been lots of phone calls and lots of research to see who’s out there,” said the hugely experienced coach who has worked both at home and in Europe.

“We’re obviously a little bit behind a lot of the other teams but that doesn’t mean there’s not good quality guys out there. So we’re just trying to get the right ones.

“I always look at players to see whether they’ve been successful in the play-offs, have they won things before. There’s nothing like a winner’s mentality to help a team.

“You also want players who are good people, who fit your philosophy and are serious about making a commitment and giving you everything.

“And if you can surround yourself with some guys that you coached before then that’s a big bonus too.

“On a personal level I’m looking forward to the challenge. The UK league is of a similar style to North America which is very appealing as I’m used to that style and I like it.

“Hopefully we will all soon be back to some normalcy and we can get crowds out to see the Clan again which will be great. The fans are going to be pretty jacked up and looking forward to seeing some exciting games in the flesh.”

Of course, the pandemic is not Glasgow’s only or even most pressing problem. The club has been in negotiations with the new owners of the Braehead Shopping Centre, Global Mutual, with a view to becoming the new operating company of the neighbouring Arena.

Should that bid fail, then that site could stop functioning as an ice rink, leaving the Clan homeless. But Cameron seems confident it will be resolved.

“That’s something that wasn’t under the club’s control and there are only certain things in life that you can control. So I don’t worry about the things that you can’t.

“But everything is straightened out now and we’re good to go. I’m confident that we’ll be playing in our home arena next season, for sure.”

Cameron may not have his playing roster finalised yet but he knows the style he wants to see from whoever ends up pulling on a Clan jersey next season.

“I want to create a team that is tough to play against,” he revealed. “We’re going to be really strong when we have the puck and when we don’t have it we’re going to pursue it very hard.

“We’re going to be physical and gritty to get the puck back. And we’ll make teams pay a price if they want to get in front of our net.

“That’s always the style I like to play, grind the other team into the ground. You want to create a team that the fans can be proud of and that’s what I intend to do.”