Manchester Storm forward Layne Ulmer says he’s feeling like a kid again as he gets ready for his latest Elite League adventure.
The 38-year-old is returning to the UK for a fourth season, but instead of the more familiar red jersey of Cardiff Devils, he’s opted for the black of Storm.
And he’s hoping his experience of winning titles and trophies can benefit a team that missed out on the play-offs last season.
“It’s always fun to go into a new season, where there’s going to be new guys and it’s fun to get in there, meet the new guys and starting to gel as a team,” he said
“With a new team, it’s going to make me feel like a kid again at the age of 38 and brings the fun out and I’m super excited to get going.
“We have a young team, full of players new to the @officialEIHL. I wanted to get some leadership and the opportunity to sign a player who has experience of winning in our league was a bonus. I am so excited to coach this team.” – Head Coach, Ryan Finnerty. #WeAreStorm | #EIHL pic.twitter.com/XXAewy7EJA
— Manchester Storm (@Mcr_Storm) August 6, 2019
“I’m fortunate enough to have had some success in my career and I want to bring that winning attitude and the knowledge I have that can help some of the other players on the team.
“I want to contribute to the team’s success, be myself, fit in and hopefully it can be a good season for Storm this year.
“Reaching the play-offs is a goal obviously after missing out last year and the league is a lot stronger this year. You have to be consistent and it’s not a league where you should give up points too easily.
“It’s going to be tough because a lot of teams have upgraded this year and there’s definitely a higher quality coming in, but that’s our goal.”
Ulmer made over 200 appearances for Cardiff in all Elite League competitions and the Champions Hockey League winning two leagues, two Challenge Cups and two play-off titles.
His move to the Storm raised a few eyebrows, but it’s one that’s proved to be popular with the fans as they look ahead to new campaign.
Ulmer spoke about the factors that persuaded him to swap the Viola Arena for the Storm Shelter and recalled his experiences of playing there as an opposition player.
He added: “There was a few different factors behind my move to Manchester Storm. It was a good fit for me and my family, which was the important thing.
“I know Ryan (coach Ryan Finnerty) and we go back a long way, plus knowing the league and the travel and I felt it was a good place for me at my age and spending the time with my family of course.
“The rink in Manchester is always fun in my experience and things can happen very quickly. There’s no place to hide and it’s very loud. It can be a fast paced rink to play in where you can get lots of scoring chances.
“The fans also get right into it and I think it’s going to be a fun year with Manchester this year with the atmosphere and I think the ice gives us an advantage.
“We’re going in to be successful and it’s going to be a long hard fought season and we’re determined. we have a good quality group of guys and a structure and if we can work the way I think we can, we can certainly be successful.”