by Lauren Rankin (@laurenrankin_)
THE SEASON THAT WAS
Looking back at last season, finishing in third behind runners-up Sheffield and league champions Hull was a disappointing but an acceptable result, seeing as only two points and head to head separated the top three, even though fans were desperate for the trophy.
The biggest disappointment was failure to reach the final four Coventry weekend after losing 6-5 on aggregate to Sheffield.
Although Telford had one of the noticeably more mature teams, the speed, strength and determination still did not disappoint.
News of the National League was like music to everyone’s ears as games in the Moralee only seemed to be competitive between the top three; this was most noticeable by the crowd attendance which fluctuated depending on the opponent.
It is great to win; but when you are winning 17-1 it becomes a little boring.
Seeing the development last year from the juniors was fantastic. Playing U18s as well as NIHL1 was a mammoth task, but there was no hesitation and they got themselves stuck in.
It’s great to see so many young guys progressing through the Telford junior system getting their chance at NIHL National level.
Looking at the recruitment for the 2019/2020 season, it’s nice to see some new faces in between returning faces. This year Telford welcomes Ollie Lord and he looks to be a promising prospect, signing from Coventry Blaze NIHL after signing on a two way with Telford & Coventry’s EIHL team.
Ross Kennedy joins from NIHL 1 team Blackburn Hawks where he managed a total of 36 points in 25 games which isn’t too bad for a defender.
There’s also the return of young guns Finley Howells, Henry Adams, Dan Mitchell and Jed Moreland who are all now playing their first year of senior hockey which isn’t alongside U18s.
One of the most eye opening signings was Brad Day who has signed from Sheffield Steelers. With Brad playing the odd game for Hull last season there was speculation as to where he would end up, so to have him at Telford is great news.
He’s a solid net-minder who has Elite League experience and impressed last year. There is also a new import, Dominik Florian, who joins from Coventry Blaze (EIHL), playing for only his second year in the UK.
One to watch this season is Finley Howells. This guy is only 16 years old but has an incredible amount of talent, slick hands, fast feet & a sharp shot! In his last year of U18s he managed an impressive 56 points in 16 games and is also a product of the Telford junior system.
A mid-table finish is most likely for Telford, of course it would be great to win the league but you have to be realistic.
Seeing the signings from across the league this season, it will most definitely be an interesting year with new teams, new players and new fans.
If Telford can ice four lines there is no reason why they won’t be ones to beat. Qualifying for play-offs is a big thing for them after missing out last season and with teams like MK and Leeds coming into the league, the challenge is going to be incredible.
But with Jason Silverthorn as returning captain they are a force to be reckoned with.
MY TOP LINE
Predicted top line: F-Adam Taylor, Andy Mckinney, Scott Mckenzie. D- Jonathan Weaver, Corey Goodison.