Player of the Year returns to Solent
The Solent Devils are pleased to announce the re-signing of NIHL player of the year, Richard Facey.
Facey, who has played ninety nine games as a Devil, and will return for the 2018/19 season to start his one hundredth.
In that time, Facey has amassed one 189 points, from 84 goals and 105 assists, with last season contributing 48 goals and 47 assists.
Solent Devils head coach, Alex Murray states
“I am ecstatic to be able to secure the services of Richard for next season. Richard was the stand out player in the league last season and for him to commit this early in the summer shows the level of commitment he has to our club. Whilst I know there would have been many clubs interested – including several from the league above – I am humbled he has chosen to stay at Solent.”
When talking of his performance last year and coming back as a Devil, Facey says
“I’m very happy to be back at Solent, and I don’t think that there was any doubt that I wanted to come back. I started playing hockey at Gosport ice rink, and it feels like it has all come full circle and I hope to play out the end of my career with the club.”
Those 48 goals made Facey the highest scoring player in the league last year, and to go with all those goals, he took the title for most short handed goals (8) and most game winning goals (9). On top of that, Facey earned nine hat tricks – five of which came in five straight games.
These kinds of performances obviously put pressure on the players to continue to perform,
“For the pressure and expectation, I have been one of the players used in key situations for a number of years,” says Facey, “I’m always excited to be on the ice at key moments in games and hope that I can continue to compete and perform at a level that means I get that opportunity. There is plenty of support from other quality scorers in our group, who will be pushing me for that opportunity, I am looking forward to that.”
Continuing the thoughts of next season, Facey continues
“For the upcoming season, the goal has to be the Devils in contention for all the competitions that we enter. This year, it was fantastic to be in meaningful games for the league championship, all the way up to the second to last game of the season, and then to win the play-offs. You don’t always get to be in that position, but it is always fun when you are.”
At the end of last season, one of Facey’s line mates, Drew Campbell, announced his retirement,
“With the retirement of an elite scorer like Drew, and some of our other top guys getting opportunities at the next level, I’m excited to see some of our younger players take up bigger roles this year, there will be openings for those guys to really grab the bull by the horns and have a pivotal role in our campaign.”
As a stabilising force within the Devils, his cool head often a calming influence on the rest of the team, Facey is a huge proponent of developing the younger players on the team and is also one of the coaches for the Junior Devils. Talking about the team moving in to next year, and the development within the club, Facey says
“With the programme that Alex has put together, I believe we are a top club to play for, that gives good opportunity for young guys to grow and improve by playing along side more experienced, established players. I’ve enjoyed being part of that and hope to help it to continue. I’ve also really enjoyed working with the junior club, which has been a great opportunity for me, it’s a big part of the reason I wanted to be a part of the setup at Solent. I can see lots of talented young players coming up through the ranks and it is a lot of fun helping them develop into top senior players here.”
This is echoed by Murray, who goes on to say
“His effort on the ice for the Devils is only one benefit from having Richard. Richard’s experience helps guide and develop the younger players, while his work with the juinior club is ensuring the next generation of Devils have the best opportunity at succeeding.”
Facey will be playing in shirt number 28 again this year, and is currently looking for a shirt sponsor. If you would be interested in sponsoring any of the Devils shirts, or becoming a team sponsor, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org