Today, the Solent Devils are delighted to announce the signing of British defenceman, Will Crossley.
Crossley returns to the Devils following two seasons away, having been part of the playoff winning team in the 2017/18 season.
“Having just moved back to the UK after spending the last two years in the US studying, it has always been my goal to be back playing for the Devils. Each season, the team gets stronger, the fan base grows – and makes a whole lot of noise – and everyone involved is here because they truly love the sport, which makes it such an amazing place to play. With the likes of Muzza (Alex Murray) and Alex Cole, there are top experienced players I can play with and learn from, helping me develop as a player and a person.”
“I’m delighted to be able to welcome back Will,” says Devils head coach, Alex Murray, “he had a wonderful first season with the Devils during our playoff winning campaign. Will is going to provide depth, energy and youthfulness to our defensive group, which will help with the demand of this league.”
Crossley spent most of his formative years at Oxford, developing his skills, joining the Devils for his first senior season at the start of the 2017/18 campaign, where the young defender contributed seven assists and only sat eight penalty minutes in his 23 games. Following that season, Crossley’s studies took him travelling, but upon his return to England it appears he is looking forward to picking up where he left off.
“I have no worries on returning to the Devils,” says Crossley. “Having trained with the team back in January, I pride myself on being adaptable and being able to fit into any playing situation as needed. Muzza and the team have always been supportive of me, so it’s very easy to fit back in. While out in the States, I was playing as much as I could, at all different levels. I got the chance to experience senior travel hockey, where one of the weekends was spent playing games in front of crowds at the Vegas Knights training facility in Las Vegas. I am eager to get back to with the team and ready to repeat the successes of 2017/18 and the seasons since.”
Murray seems to have confidence in the returning player too, as he goes on to say
“Will is going to join our defensive group and challenge for the top six spots, he is very calm on the puck, has a great eye for the pass, and has no fear in the corners. We hope that Will has progressed even further during his two years in the States, and are confident Will is going to impact our line up positively.”
Crossley lays out his aspirations for the new season, leaving no doubt over his desire to prove himself and ensure the Devils remain competitive.
“It goes without saying that I am here to play my part in winning the league and playoffs. However, I know it’s going to take a lot of hard work against some tough competition. Personally, I want to keep pushing myself to grow as a player, working on my confidence in the offensive zone, to try to capitalise on the opportunities I get on goal, to help the team. I will also be working off-ice to increase my strength and conditioning, to help me be more physical in the offensive zone.”
Murray too, has expectations for Crossley, with Murray showing some of the potential he sees in this player.
“I will expect Will to be able to play a variety of roles throughout the season, always being ready when called upon, challenging our top four defencemen, as well as developing his own game further. I see Will as a player who could go into the national after a few more years exposure at our level.”
Crossley joins the Devils in shirt #7. If you would like to sponsor a Devil, or find out about becoming a team sponsor, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.