32-year-old Long’s flexibility was demonstrated during the treble-winning 2022/23 season, collecting 9 goals and 14 assists, featuring in 46 games, as well as routinely dropping back to the blue line to play a defensive-first game based on the needs of the team and dealing with injuries on the roster. Long's reliability, and ability to excel in multiple positions have proven him to be an asset to the Giants' roster.
Since his arrival with the Giants in 2019/20 - Ciaran played for EIHL (Elite Ice Hockey League) side Manchester Storm for a season cut short by the pandemic in 2020/21 before returning to Belfast for what was set to be a very successful pair of seasons. He also represented Great Britain in the IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) World Championships in 2021/22.
"I am delighted to be returning to the Belfast Giants for another season," said Ciaran Long, who celebrates his first wedding anniversary with wife Hannah today (Friday 2 June 2023). "Belfast is home to me now; I'm a married man and have bought my first home here in Northern Ireland. It makes a lot of sense for me to return to the Giants and continue doing what I love to do.
“Last season, we set the bar – it was incredible to achieve the treble for the first time. This season, I’m committed to giving my all on the ice. I can't wait to get back out there in front of the Teal Army and hopefully building upon last year's successes."
Speaking of the announcement, Belfast Giants head coach Adam Keefe said: "Ciaran is a well-rounded player who brings a strong work ethic and a competitive edge to every game. His ability to adapt to various positions and situations on the ice is hard to come by.
“In the locker room, Ciaran’s presence is felt. He is a true team player who knows how to have fun whilst getting the job done too. Having played a core role in our successes over the last few years, we are delighted to have him back for another season.”
Belfast Giants Season Tickets for the 2023/24 season are on sale now. Fixture dates for CHL (Champions Hockey League) and domestic EIHL home games will be announced in the coming weeks. Keep an eye on Belfast Giants’ website and social media channels for the latest news and signing announcements.