‘Adz’ bolsters Lions backline

Coach Paul Glossop welcomes Andrews

Nottingham Lions have strengthened their NIHL North Laidler D2 roster, with the signing of defenseman Adam Andrews.

The 33-year-old brings 12 seasons of senior hockey to the Lions’ blueline, with his career spanning every level of professional and semi-professional hockey in the UK.

Andrews’ career began in Swindon in 1999, but most recently he’s played for two of Lions’ main rivals, Solihull Barons and Coventry Blaze.

‘Adz’ has made a name for himself in the Midlands as a no-nonsense, playmaking defenseman, bagging 74 points in 91 NIHL North games and going on to captain the Laidler All-Star team at the end of last season.

Alongside captain Luke Thomas, Andrews will be on hand to provide veteran leadership and guidance to the junior members of the defensive core, several of whom are entering their first senior campaigns and, with the Swindon native’s playmaking ability, he adds flexibility to both the defence and special teams that will be crucial entering the new campaign.

Andrews said he was delighted to finalise his move to the National Ice Centre: “I’m looking forward to working under Matt and the rest of the coaching team – the club has some promising young kids coming through with a good mix of seniors. I’ll get my head down and let my hockey do the talking. I can play with no pressure on my shoulders and enjoy myself.”

Lions finished fourth last term and began this season with a narrow defeat at Blackburn Eagles, but Andrews believes they can challenge for silverware.

“If you go into the season thinking you’ll just make up the numbers you’re mentally setting your mind to fail. A wise person once said ‘if you always did what you always done, you will always get what you always got’. Take that how you like, but times are changing in Nottingham with the development being around youth. If I can have a hand in that – great.

“At 33 the easiest answer would be to say ‘I feel old’, but it’s not the case – you’re only as old as you feel and the younger guys bring a tempo that without knowing it is helping us old dogs keep pace and our fitness levels high. The more senior guys will be adding the final touches that the kids haven’t developed yet – it’s a great balance that everyone benefits from.”

Lions’ Head Coach Matt Bradbury commented: “Adz has a wealth of experience and many attributes that will help the team. He’s strong and composed on the puck, sees the ice well and most importantly he’s here with us to play and enjoy his hockey and do whatever is asked of him.

“We’ve had a very honest conversation as to how we see him fitting into the programme and we believe he’ll complement our back line giving us further depth, as well as another good shot from the point.

“I’m quite sure he’ll be keen to help his team mates out, both on and off the ice, and the entire coaching team look forward to him joining our ranks. He has a lot to prove to people and we hope that playing for the Lions will assist in proving a lot of people wrong and putting a few records straight.”

Andrews is expected to make debut on Saturday at Bradford Bulldogs. The following evening Lions begin their home campaign against local rivals Sheffield Senators.

(Image permission: Nottingham Lions)

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