With pre-season now underway we’ve retained most of last season’s squad which saw us reach the play-offs during 2014/15. We’re also hoping to confirm a couple of new faces over the coming weeks, and we’ve unfortunately lost a couple as well.Returning to the Spartans for the 2015/16 season are:
Netminders: Brandon Stones and Andy Bagshaw
Forwards: Andrew Turner, Will Barron, Ollie Barron, Nick Manning, Scott Morris, Elliot Knell, Shaun Wild, Stuart Brittle
Defencemen: David Pyatt, Stevie Weeks, Danny Mawer, Dougie Jordan, Chris Wilcox, Ross Jordan
We’ve also added Mike Mawer to the roster, who joins us from the Senators in a move which shows his commitment to the game and to himself as a developing player. With the Sens picking up promotion through the extra promotional slot introduced by the EIHA to redress the imbalance in the number of teams in the NIHL leagues, Mike could have stayed with the Sens knowing he’d see a lot of ice over the season. Instead he wanted to push himself and trialled with us in July looking to move up to the Spartans. Mike impressed myself, assistant Stu Brittle and captain Ollie with his commitment and dedication to improve. He’s in good shape and is a powerful player with a good shot and great presence on the ice. Mike’s also a centre which is a position we’ve less depth in, he’s also got a great attitude and personality and will be a good addition to the ranks for 2015/16.
Unforunately players that wont be returning include top scoring decenceman Jonthan Kirk. ‘JK’ is stepping up to the EPL for newly formed team Hull Pirates. Forwards Nick Whyatt & James Maughan are both taking some time away from hockey and Alex Harding is set to join another NIHL team. We would like to wish each of these players well in the future & thank them for their efforts in Spartans colours over the last few seasons.
Following the introduction of the U20’s league Tom Parkinson (F) and Matt Croyle (N/M) will both sign for the 20’s. Tom and Matt were both full time Spartans last season and we’ll be looking to include them again this season when the U20 fixtures allow. In addition, Tom Barry will be playing for the 20’s this season and will be playing up to ourselves as well. Tom spent last season with the Steeldogs and is confident on the puck, skates well and can pick a pass, we’ll be integrating him into the lines over the coming weeks.
We will also be looking to include a number of other younger players coming through the academy ranks when they are available, these players include: Cole Shudra, Charlie Thompson, Matthew Pigott, Ben Jones & Joe Colton.