Dragons boss Lol Paul believes aÂ bumper attendance at Thursdayâ€™s NIHL trials was anotherÂ seal of approval for Red Hockeyâ€™s investment in the Flintshire outfit.
Up to 25 players attended the first session at Deeside Ice Rink, ahead of another trial next Wednesday, which will be attended by GB under-20s coach, Tom Watkins.
The Dragons will be led by former player LolÂ in the Laidler Conference next season, as they make a start to life under new owners, Red Hockey.
And the newly-installed Head Coach was delighted to see a “fantastic” turn-out on Thursday evening.
He said: â€œThis is a very exciting time for this club, so to see so many guys wanting a place in the squad is fantastic. Itâ€™s not just great for me, but the players as well will benefit from whatâ€™s happening here.
â€œEvery single guy on the ice worked incredibly hard tonight, considering it is the first session back. There are still a lot of decisions to be made, but this is an excellent start.
â€œI was expecting a fair few players to come along, so to have this many shows how excited they are about the future for The Dragons.â€
Next Wednesday will again see Paul run the rule over prospective players, this time alongside Watkins, who guided The Tigers to a league and cup double last season.
â€œHaving Tom here will be great for both me and the club as a whole,â€ Paul added.
â€œHe has got stacks of experience, both with The Tigers andÂ GB at senior and under-20s level. It is thanks to our links with Red Hockey that we can do this.
â€œI know he will put the players through their paces and it should be a really good session. Itâ€™s not often that I, or the players, get toÂ join a session with someone of Tomâ€™s caliberâ€‹. I am really looking forward to it.â€
The club has already signed a number of players for next seasonâ€™s squad â€“ but Paul is remaining tight-lipped until they are officially unveiled.
He said: â€œAt the moment, we have signed a few guys and we want to build on that with these trialÂ sessions. The expectations for this team next season will be the very best.
â€œI donâ€™t want say who they are yet, but The Dragons fans will be very happy when they are all agreed.â€