Weaver targets EPL title

Telford Tigers defenseman Jonathan Weaver insists there is more to come from his side, after they crashed out of the League Cup against Manchester Phoenix last weekend.

The GB international spent the early part of the season in the treatment room, after having surgery on a long-standing injury during the off-season.

He has since rejoined a Tigers side that must now concentrate on retaining the EPL title, following their unsuccessful defence of the cup. Weaver believes those early-season defeats can spur them on as they search for a second successive league championship.

He said: “It is very early to be out of a cup, especially one that we won last season, so it is very disappointing for everyone. It wasn’t just in Manchester where we lost it, of course, but we can’t do anything about it now.

“Now we have to concentrate on improving our league form and putting wins together, so we can climb up the table. We’ve got at least one game in hand over the leading teams, so if we win that, then we’re not too far away.

“There is still a very long way to go in the league, so hopefully we’ll be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.”

Weaver showed few signs of being away during last weekend’s return to competitive action, scoring Telford’s only goal against Phoenix.

He added: “It was nice to get the monkey off my back so early, but it was ultimately fruitless. I would have definitely preferred two points. There is nothing you can do to replicate playing in a game, so it takes a few weeks to get your timing right and get up to match speed.

“I’m not far away, so I’ll work hard this week and with the one game this weekend, I’ll get that out of the way and be firing on all cylinders.”

Telford improved their championship hopes before the loss against Manchester, with Tom Watkins’ men winning five games in a row.

But Weaver, who has wo​n a string of honours during his 23-year career, warned that retaining a league title is far tougher than winning one.

“It seems like every team has definitely made a step up,” he said. “There’s better goaltending this season, and goals are harder to come by. It’s hard to win a league, but it’s even harder to retain it.

“You don’t tend to make too many changes, whereas other teams will strengthen, they know how to play against you and you’ve got that target on your back.”

(Image permission: Telford Tigers)

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