Young guns set to fire for Tigers NIHL

The Tigers NIHL will feature a healthy dose of local talent next season, after Ben Washburn, Joe Aston and Matt Price agreed on a return to the Shropshire outfit.

The trio have grown up together as part of Telford’s renowned junior system, and enjoyed a successful first full season at senior level last year.

They will face a much tougher set of opponents when the Moralee Conference starts in September, however, following the club’s promotion from Laidler level.

But Tigers NIHL Head Coach, Tom Watkins, expects the trio to provide a solid local backbone to the fledgling outfit.

He said: “Playing at the higher level will be a very good test for these guys, although they will have a higher standard of team around them.

“They have got to contribute positively to each game, have goals and play a big role for us. They’re still quite young, but will play a lot of minutes.

“Next season will be an excellent opportunity for all three of them to learn, improve and make progress.

“Being local guys, they will be comfortable with each other, although it is often better to put them on different lines. That way, they can develop their abilities with other players.”

Watkins, who nurtured the trio through their junior years, believes each player has a differing ability to turn the result of a game.

He added: “I have known these three lads for a long time, and I know they are very good players, but with different attributes.

“Joe Aston has got a lot of speed, while Matt Price is a smart player who sees the ice very well. Ben has got an excellent work ethic and he’s been working very hard on his fitness this summer.”

Tigers NIHL General Manager, Mike Washburn, expects all three players to make a big step up in quality next season.

He said: “These guys have played together at Telford since the under-tens team. Not only that, they have also had the benefit of Tom’s guidance for years as well.

“Big season ahead and I’ve no doubt all three will flourish and move another step closer to the EPL stage.”

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