Mental Toughness Key For Flav

ULTIMATE WINDOWS-sponsored Billingham Stars continue to build their 2016-2017 squad by today announcing the return of one of the League’s leading netminders, James Flavell.

Flav in fine form as usual

Flav in fine form as usual

28-year-old Flavell has thwarted opposition forwards between the Billingham pipes since junior days with just two spells at other clubs – two years at Whitley whilst the Forum was out of action and a stint in the English Premier League with Sheffield Steeldogs. A talented and reliable shotstopper, Flavell posted a 92.6% save record in the League last season whilst sharing netminding duties with Mark Watson, and despite suffering a serious head injury midway through the season that caused him to miss crucial games as the Stars playoff challenge faltered.

Plenty of action for Flav at Blackburn

Plenty of action for Flav at Blackburn

Flavell shared his thoughts on the partnership with Watson and his hopes for the coming campaign:

“I was pretty happy with my performance last season but I’m still always looking to improve. I’m not sure there’s a particular area of my game I want to develop, but being tough mentally and trying to maintain a good level of play consistently is always the goal. The head injury last season was definitely frustrating and it’s hard to sit back and watch games. Dealing with injuries is just part of the ups and downs across the season and something as a team we’ve had to learn to respond to.

Mark was a big reason why we ended up winning the Northern Cup last year with some of his performances early on in the competition. Defeating Solway away in a shoot-out is one that springs to mind. I think we’ve helped each others’ performances as we’ve played on the same team for quite a few years now. We know how each of us likes to approach games and support each other across the year.

Last year the competition in the League was really tough. We missed out on the playoffs which was disappointing but so did teams like Telford who had also shown on occasion how strong they could be. We proved we were as good as any team on our day but we didn’t produce our best often enough and ultimately that’s what cost us. Next year the ambition is to be serious contenders for the League title and playoffs. To do that we need to pick up where we left off last year and look to generate momentum early on in the season. We played at our very best last year in some of the highest pressure situations but probably got complacent in other games. We need maintain that intensity every game to be challenging at the top.”

Flav gets across

Flav gets across

Catch Flav on Billingham Stars TV speaking to Matthew Donnachie as his signing is announced – click here for the interview.

There’s plenty more to come from the Stars camp over the next few weeks – next news bulletin – Friday!

James Flavell stats – click here.

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