Tigers sign netminder Baston

Telford Tigers have signed 2016 English Premier League all-star netminder Jon Baston for the rest of the season.

Baston, 22, was part of Basingstoke’s league-winning side last year, posting a save percentage of just over 93 per cent.

He will join Sam Gospel as a regular custodian at Telford, as the EPL leaders look to defend a six-point advantage over Milton Keynes.

Tigers head coach Tom Watkins, who has been tracking Baston since the summer, said: “Both Jon and Sam have won the league in the last two seasons, so they have proved they can compete at the level we want them to.

“This is just a smart move for the team to make, to make sure that we have that depth. We don’t want to go into game without having a quality netminder there.

“It also takes a bit of pressure off the other guy. If they perhaps know they’re having a bad night, they can get out of the net and refocus for the next game.

“One of the reasons why I’ve gone after Jon is that I know what I’m going to get. He was an outstanding goalie in the league last season and I expect him to continue in the same vein.

“We know he can do a good job in this league.”

Baston is likely to go straight into the Tigers squad for this weekend’s crunch encounters with Milton Keynes Lightning and Swindon Wildcats.

Those games could prove pivotal to Telford’s chances of retaining their place at the top of the standings, with just three months of the season left.

And Watkins wants to shore up his squad for the upcoming title chase.

He added: “Jon posted the best numbers in the league last season and did a great job in Basingstoke when he went there.

“For us, it is really important that you have two guys who can play and put some competition on, especially given the position we’re in.

“Sam has done a fantastic job to date, but I think we would all be concerned if we lost a netminder at this point of the season.

“That would jeopardise the rest of the year, so having that competition between Sam and Jon will be a good thing for the team.”

The Tigers travel to face Milton Keynes on Saturday night, before hosting Swindon Wildcats at Telford Ice Rink on Sunday (6pm).

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