Sting ready for the new season

The 2014/15 NIHL North season finally gets under way for Sutton Sting today after a long off-season of rebuilding.

Sting kick things off against Blackburn Hawks at IceSheffield, before tomorrow’s trip north to meet Whitley Warriors.

Matt Darlow took over as Head Coach during the summer and he’s upbeat about their chances this weekend.”Our guys have prepared well to take on the challenge of this season, with a real focus on team development,” said Darlow.

“While others may worry about beginning a campaign against two of the top teams in NIHL North, we have no illusions as to what is required to beat them. Blackburn are a quality outfit, no doubt about that, but I wouldn’t be doing my job correctly if I didn’t know their strengths and weaknesses and more importantly how we can exploit their weaknesses to the fullest.

“Whitley away will be the usual fire and brimstone affair and it’s always a tough barn to play in, but the old days of being intimidated going to Hillheads are long gone and if you look throughout our roster we are full of guys who’ll take care of our team.

“We’ll look to do what every other team is trying to do at this time of year and that is to establish a foothold in this league early, play some good hockey and learn as we go. It’s great to be at the helm and working with a positive group of people at Sutton.”

Sting narrowly missed a play-off slot last term, but Darlow believes he has a talented roster at his disposal for the Moralee D1 2014/15 season.

“This unit is capable of playing a very high level of hockey and we’ll focus on the simple things that are needed to be effective every shift of every game. As long as we do the little things right, the bigger picture will take care of itself.

“We have the opportunity to play some hockey, enjoy the season ahead and learn every step of the way as a group, while introducing our younger guys to the life of an NIHL1 hockey player.

“This is a powerful thing we have here at Sutton Sting and when you have a happy, motivated set of individuals who buy into what is possible then you have a team that can achieve above and beyond if it chooses to do so.”

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