Hill start for Tigers in league openers

Phil Hill wants to help The Tigers repeat last season’s double-winning triumph – and he warned that anything less than a close title challenge would be a “disappointing season”.

The 33-year-old forward will join his new team-mates for this weekend’s opening league games against Sheffield Steeldogs and Swindon Wildcats.

He spent the majority of pre-season with his previous club, Sheffield Steelers, as part of a deal to play in the Yorkshire outfit’s CHL campaign.

But with Sheffield having failed to reach the next stage of the competition, Hill is looking forward to a new challenge with the reigning EPL champions.

He said: “The welcome I’ve had from the lads has been great and we’ve enjoyed some great training sessions. We’ll go into the weekend full of confidence.

“It has been hard, as my focus was on Sheffield in the CHL. But now that contract has ended, my attention is with Telford. I’m coming here to do a good job for the team and build on last year’s success.

“Telford did well last season and the core of that team has been retained. We all want to build on that, and if we don’t win the league or challenge to win play-offs, it will be a disappointing season.”

Hill’s career so far has seen him spend six years with Great Britain’s senior side, before winning the EIHL title with Sheffield Steelers last season.

A change to playing in the EPL is a step into the unknown for the ex-Cardiff Devils star, but he is keen to get started on the new campaign.

He added: “At the moment, the focus is on my own game, but as the season goes on, you start to pay attention to the other teams.

“This is a tough league, with ten good teams. There won’t be too many easy games and if you want to win the league, you need to win every series against every team.”

The Welshman spent the majority of his early playing days in Cardiff, and is familiar with a number of his new team-mates, having faced them in opposition.

“The guys here have been skating together for a few weeks, but I know a few of them already,” he said.

“I have played against them, so I know their style. There is no better way to get into a team than by playing games. I have played with Max before, so that should help the transition.”

Hill is expected to make his Tigers debut against Sheffield Steeldogs on Saturday, ahead of Sunday’s home encounter with Swindon Wildcats (6pm).

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