Two return and add toughness on the blue line
Returning for the 16/17 seasons are defenseman Phil Manny and Ross Wilkinson.
Both players were singed for Fireâ€™s first season from London Raiders and bring with them a wealth of experience to the team.
Both started their hockey careers in Cardiff with Wilkinson spending a year away playing for the Raiders during the 14/15 season. Phil Manny stepped up form junior hockey to the Devils BNL team in 02/03 before going on the represent the Devils at Elite League for the following 3 seasons. Philâ€™s career has also seen him play in the EPL for Solihull Barons, Wightlink Raiders, and Romford Raiders. Manny has also played for Invicta Dynamos, Stratham Redskins and London Raiders in ENL/NIHL
Both Wilkinson and Manny add toughness to the Fire roster with Wilkinson amassing an astonishing 1063 PIMS in just 131 games and Manny with 1130 PIMS in 514 games.
Mark Cuddihy added â€œBringing these guys back was always a priority. In our league last season there wasnâ€™t much need for the physical aspect to their game and both contributed fantastically without the need to throw the body around. In the playoffs there was a big difference in physicality and so we switched WIlko to the wing so he could throw some hits and panic defences. That was invaluable to us in the semi final. Both of these guys have this in their locker and can add to the team in a number of roles and positions, including the PK. They are great team guys also and help the room a lot.â€
Ross Wilkinson â€œCan’t wait to get back for the new season and build on what was a fantastic first year. Last year was one of the best I’ve been involved in. From the changing room to the back room staff. It was all-awesome. In Cardiff we have seen how difficult it is to run teams at NIHL level, this has been more than evident recently. It was disappointing what happened to the team two years ago. This is why so many left and then came back. I enjoyed my year in London but I love being back in Cardiff and with this group particularly. I’m over the moon to be in the fire family for another year. I have a feeling things a going to be amazing this yearâ€