The unveiling party for the Missouri Mavericks‘ 2014-15 season jerseys had to take a back seat Friday night to the first public appearance by new head coach Richard Matvichuk, who spent the evening visiting with fans of the Central Hockey League team.

“He’s the real deal,” team president Brent Thiessen said as Matvichuk spent time visiting with every table full of fans at Strikerz. “He’s a pro, a straight shooter and he tells it like it is. You know where you stand with him, and I think the fans are going to love him.”

One of the first fans to greet Matvichuk was Frank Spevak, one of the team’s best fans who greets the team bus following every road trip.

“So far, so good – I like him,” said Spevak, who was one of the team’s season ticket holders who was selected to model the team’s new jerseys. “He looks you right in the eye and talks to you, and I like that. I think he’s going to be a good fit. Now, we just have to see how the team looks.”

When asked about the team, and when he started putting the pieces together, Matvichuk said, “The minute I hung the phone from Brent after I took the job, it’s all I think about. I’m talking to players who are already on the team, players from other teams, coaches of other players – my phone is blowing up every day with calls from players who want to be a part of this organization.

“I’ll admit it, it’s crazy. But I love it. And I love getting the chance to come out meet our fans. I want to put names to faces. Everyone told me about Frank, and you have to love a fan like that. He is so passionate about this team, and we’re passionate about our fans.

“Brent and Scott (Hillman, former Mavericks coach) built something special here and now, we want to take it to the next level and bring these fans a championship.”

As for the uniforms, the sweaters are similar to ones in the past. The horse head logo will replace the “5” that was on some jerseys to commemorate the team’s fifth season in Independence. A new pattern was introduced on a white jersey with thick orange and black bands surrounding a thin blue line with a Mavericks logo surrounded by “Missouri Mavericks.”