Clarkson embracing Tigers’ culture of improvement

Telford Tigers’ forward Doug Clarkson is embracing the club’s demands for continuous improvement, despite his side winning the EPL title just over a week ago.

Clarkson, who arrived from Elite League side Dundee Stars last summer, has been a key part of this year’s Tigers squad, bagging a remarkable 77 points in 49 games.

But two days after that championship win last week, head coach Tom Watkins brought skills equipment to a training session in a bid to keep his players sharp.

And Clarkson believes those improvements will pay dividends during the end-of-season play-offs, which start on 22nd March.

He said: “You always want to get better and just last week at Tuesday training, when we usually have about ten or twelve guys, Tommy brought all the skills stuff out.

“When you’ve just won the league people might wonder why you’re doing that, but you always want that improvement.

“Until the final whistle goes in the final league game, the target is to keep on improving.

“Over the past week, Tommy has made it clear to guys that they should just continue on, and nothing is any different.

“Obviously if guys are hurt, then you might want to rest them, but you play the same way and try not to get any bad habits.

“In the play-offs a couple of bad games can end things pretty quickly, so we’ve got to go in the same way we’ve finished the season and hopefully keep the winning streak going.”

Telford’s opponents in the play-offs are yet to be confirmed, with teams still jostling for position in the two quarter-final groups of four.

One of those sides is likely to be Sheffield Steeldogs, who Telford travel to face on Saturday night.

“We play teams a lot through the season, so we’ll know what style they will probably play and who their better players are,” added Clarkson.

“I think the closer we get to the play-offs, then it will come down to Tommy doing video on those specific teams, but you have just got to be solid in those games.”

Clarkson has become a fans’ favourite in Telford this season, with his physical presence also playing a crucial role in that run to the title.

“I’ve always liked scoring, but the physical side with the fighting just happens sometimes,” he said.

“It’s not something you go looking for, but the crowd love it and the guys feed off that energy at the start of the game and after period breaks.

“The crowd are paying your wages and it’s entertaining for fans to see you try hard and win, so all that definitely helps.”

(Image permission: Steve Brodie)

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