Ollie Barron Interview – Part 2
As there was no game to report on for the Widnes Wild last weekend, we had a catch-up with new player coach Ollie Barron to find out how he was finding things at Widnes and how he is settling into his new coaching role.
Here, you can read the second part of the interview feature:
Before arriving at Widnes, Barron had played over 100 games at English Premier League level with the Sheffield Scimitars (now the Steeldogs) and over 250 games with the Sheffield Spartans in the Moralee Conference – which is a step up above the Wild’s current league. He was Spartans team captain for the past 4 years and averaged around 40 goals and assists per season. Having dropped down to lower league, how are Ollie and the other former Spartans players who have followed him across the Pennines finding the level of play?
“I think we are adjusting well. The Moralee league is of a higher standard – that goes without saying – but I feel the Laidler league has improved since I last saw some of the teams. The main difference is the speed of the play. You have more time on the puck in this league to take an extra touch and make a play. Don’t get me wrong – the Laidler league is still very competitive and I am expecting some tough games from the forthcoming fixtures.”
When Barron took over at Widnes, several players from the previous season had just left but the core of the loyal Wild playing staff remained. He was able to add depth to the squad by bringing over some of his former teammates at Sheffield and is pleased with how the team is blending together:
“I am happy with the squad at present. I was wary of bring a lot of new faces into the group but the core of last season’s team have been great and I like the feel of the changing room. We have a good mix but I can’t rule out bringing in extra players. If I have the chance to improve our squad I will do so as I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t explore the possibilities of bringing in new players that can improve our team.”
And how does Ollie think that Widnes will do overall this season?
“When I took over as coach, it was made clear to me that my job was to gain promotion to the Moralee conference, I feel we have a strong squad capable of this, but its easier said than done, it takes commitment from every member of the squad and its our goal to achieve, I expect us to be challenging for top spot that is my aim.”
And to sum up the “Ollie Barron ice hockey philosophy” in a single phrase?
“Hustle, hit and never quit.”
After a weekend without a game, the RTL sponsored Widnes Wild return to Laidler Conference action this Sunday 9th October in what should be a fiercely contested game against the Blackburn Eagles at Silver Blades Widnes. Both teams have a 100% record so far this season and they share the lead at the top of the league table with 8 points from their 4 games.
The game faces off at 5.30pm on Sunday and doors open at 4.45
Photo by Geoff White – http://www.gw-images.com