Itâ€™s Josh, Matt, Josh, in tune for Tigers NIHL
Jason Parry expects confidence to play a big part in the fortunes of Josh Hustwick, Matt Lees and Josh Cosgrove with Telford Tigers NIHL next season.
The trio are the latest returnees to Shropshire from last yearâ€™s promotion-winning squad, ahead of the new Moralee Conference campaign.
Each of them filled a crucial role during thatÂ remarkable end to the season, when Telford were pipped at the post by play-off winners, Solihull Barons.
Parry, who will again fill the role of Assistant Coach alongside Tom Watkins, is expecting a breakthrough year from the three defencemen.
He said: â€œAll of these lads are youngsters and even though he is just 20, Josh Hustwick is seen as a senior guy. Last year was his first in defence and he did a fantastic job.
â€œHe reads the game really well and can pass the puck well. Heâ€™s really got into the role now and doesnâ€™t want to go back to being a forward.
â€œMatt Lees and Josh Cosgrove both played under-18s as wellÂ last year and theyâ€™ve got bright futures ahead of them. Josh will still be withÂ theÂ under-18s, but heâ€™s got fitness and listens to everything.
â€œMatt is growing in confidence all the time. He grew such a lot last season and played a lot of key minutes on the first line, alongside Crofty.â€
The elevation to Moralee status presents a further challenge for the three youngsters, who will face the likes of Whitley Bay, Solway and Blackburn at the higher level.
But Parry is confident they will enjoy the demands of a tough league campaign.
He added: â€œI donâ€™t think it will faze any of them, and theyâ€™ve all got confidence in their own abilities. It is the same with a lot of youngsters these days.
â€œOnce they get into it, they will be absolutely fine. Itâ€™s the same when they get a chance to skate with the EPL team. They might be nervous at first, but theyâ€™ll step up to the plate and learn from the experience.â€
Tigers NIHL General Manager, Mike Washburn, is predicting a typically hard-working year from all three players.
He said: â€œThese signings are really solid guys and not one of them looked out of place in senior ice hockey last season.
â€œThey are highly dependable and exactly what you need at the back – this season will be a test, but one they will not fail.â€