The Solent Devils are pleased to announce the signing of experienced netminder, Aaron Craft.
When asked what brought Craft to the Devils, he simply replied
“Devils are my local team, since the Island rink closed, and I’ve known a lot of the players over the years. The Devils are a well-run, well organised team who have clear set goals and can competitively compete in the league.”
“Aaron is a very talented goalie who I have known since he was a junior during my time on the Isle of Wight,” states Alex Murray, Solent Devils head coach. “Aaron often trained up from the juniors, so I know how much potential he has got.”
Craft last iced with the Basingstoke Buffalo, where in the 2017/18 season he played 24 games with a save percentage of 87.71% and posted a goal against average of 4.74. Some players struggle in moving from a big ice pad – such as Basingstoke’s – but Craft should be quite at home on the small ice at Solent,
“Although playing on a big rink is easier for a goalie,” Craft says, “you have a lot more space and time to see shots, I’ve grown up on a small ice pad on the Isle of Wight though, so the smaller rink at Solent will feel more natural to me.”
Craft didn’t play in the 2018/19 season, and acknowledges it by saying “After a year off, it will be hard to get back into the swing of things, but I think when the season starts and I’m back in the routine, things will quickly start to come back and I will return to my normal self. I’ve been on the ice a few times this summer already and am happy with where I am – considering the year off.”
Murray is prepared to give Craft some time but makes it clear that he expects the 22 year old to put in the necessary effort.
“Aaron understands that that this will be a big jump up from what he has played before, but he is hard working and will continue to work on his game until he is ready. He will need a few weeks, maybe more, to get up to speed, but training is intense which will get him ready. It was a priority to ensure I had a goaltender who has experience at playing as a number one. During his time with the Buffalo, he often kept games competitive and I will need Aaron to play games this season due to the amount of fixtures we have.”
“I’ve got a few personal goals for the season ahead,” Craft says, “which mainly relate to having a year off. My main one is to improve and maintain my fitness – which I will work on before the season starts. I really just want to be able to feel comfortable and happy with myself on the ice again. From a team point of view, this season I think it’s important that I can make my team feel comfortable and that they can rely on me when needed.”
Murray follows this up, reiterating once more that Craft will have to work hard this year, but also that as a coach he has belief in Craft.
“Aaron has to push hard in training to earn a chance to play, once he has a chance, then it is up to him to prove to me – and the team – he merits staying in the line-up. I have every faith that Aaron will take the opportunity, which is why I am delighted to welcome him to the club.”
Craft is looking for a shirt sponsor for the upcoming season. If you are interested in sponsoring a Devils shirt, or becoming a club sponsor, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.