This season’s ENL1 North has arguably been the most exciting in the history of the league, with champions Billingham Stars being pushed all the way by Whitley Warriors and Blackburn Hawks. To round things off for the summer Coast to Coast brings you it’s Team of the Year 2011/2012.
Netminders – James Flavell (Billingham), Danny Brittle (Blackburn).
Both are capable of winning games on their own, but Flavell gets the starting slot due to an outstanding save record of over 93%.
Line 1 – Richie Thornton & Dave Thomas (Billingham)
The rocks on which Stars built their winning season with the double success being Thornton’s third on the spin after two glory years with Whitley. Thomas adds steel to the backline creating a formidable barrier in front of Flavell.
Line 2 – Chris Arnone (Blackburn) & Ashley Stanton (Telford Titans)
Arnone averaged almost a point a game in his best season yet in a Hawks shirt. Stanton’s no-nonsense style wins him few friends but he’s the type of player every team needs.
Line 3 – Andy Finn (Billingham) & Josh Maddock (Whitley)
Both unsung heroes of their defensive units who go about their jobs quietly yet effectively.
Line 1 – Dean Holland, DJ Good (Whitley) & Karol Jets (Telford)
Holland (24) and Good (23) led Warriors’ scoring charts as they searched for a third title. Good almost single-handedly turned the play-off semi-final against Hawks back in their favour. Jets bagged 29 goals and 32 assists in an impressive season. Often accused of going missing in games, but the stats suggest otherwise.
Line 2 – Rick Hughes, Sami Narkia (Blackburn) & Ryan Stanton (Telford)
Hughes had an indifferent 2010/11 but bounced back in impressive fashion this time around, averaging over a point a game. Narkia’s arrival from Finland was the spark for Hawks’ surge into the play-off final. Jets’ partner-in-crime Stanton racked up 56 points, to send Titans into fourth place and the play-off semi-final.
Line 3 – Shaun Kippin, Callum Watson (Whitley) & Paul Windridge (Billingham)
Another productive season for Kippin who’s another who gets under the opposition’s skin. Watson broke through the 20 goal barrier in ENL for the first time and is maturing into a decent forward at this level. Stars’ captain Windridge seems to have been around forever, but celebrated their double success by finishing as top points scorer.
Line 4 – Tom King (Blackburn), Adam Robinson (Billingham) & Ollie Barron (Sheffield Spartans)
King’s all action style and ability to weigh in with key goals has made him a favourite with the Hawks fans. Robinson averaged a point a game for Stars to secure the ENL title for a third time with three different teams. Spartans struggled for most of the season but Barron’s return of 21 goals and 24 assists proved invaluable in their battle to avoid the drop.