Off-ice signings announced as new season planning continues

As important as any on-ice team is the organisation supporting it – and the Smith Recycling-backed MK Lightning are delighted to report the return for next season of General Manager Nick Poole and Assistant Coach Lewis Clifford. The club can also announce the appointment of Sarah-Jane Smyth as Commercial and Marketing Manager.

Nick Poole is a name – and face – well known to almost all LightningNick Poole supporters, having played for fourteen seasons in the club’s colours. Since 2015 Nick has been the club’s General Manager, overseeing day to day operations and the smooth running of club affairs and was involved in signing many of this year’s current sponsors including Smith Recycling.

“It’s great to be coming back for another year as general manager,” commented Nick. “It’s been a transition but one I’ve thoroughly enjoyed! Sponsorship has increased and I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done with our schools’ scheme in bringing our great sport to so many new fans. Pete is putting together a great team and I’m looking forward to working with him, Sarah and Cliff to build on this season’s positives.”

Joining Nick on the club’s back office team is Sarah Jane Smyth. Sarah Jane has been instrumental in the smooth running of both the Schools’ Enterprise scheme and group bookings programme which have introduced countless new supporters to the club. From next season, Sarah Jane will join the club full time, her role expanding to include sponsorship generation and liaison as well as the marketing of the club in Milton Keynes and surrounding areas. She commented, “I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the fans this season. We’ve introduced so many new fans through our groups & schools schemes and I’m looking forward to building on this in the new season.”

Lewis Clifford is another well-known personality in Milton Keynesimage hockey, having played for nine seasons with MK Thunder before moving to the Lightning in a coaching role five years ago. During the season just ended, “Cliff” was heavily involved in video post-analysis of Lightning performances, working with Head Coach Pete Russell to refine and improve the team’s strategies.

“I’m delighted to be returning for my 6th season,” commented Lewis. “Last year was a period of transition but we made great strides in the right direction and I’m honoured Pete invited me to stay. Over the coming months we have a chance to put together a roster to compete next season and make progress on what we achieved this year. I’m excited about what the coming months and indeed next season have in store – being a part of this club is an honour and a privilege and I can’t wait to for the new season to come!

Season tickets for 2016-17 are now available and include an Early Bird discount and instalment option for supporters booking before Friday 10 June – see for full details and application form.

To contact Sarah Jane Smyth about either our Schools’ Enterprise Scheme or Group Bookings Programme, email her on

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