Category: Team News

Signing Alert – Mason Wild

Today, the Solent Devils are delighted to announce the return of Mason Wild.

Wild returns for his sixth season at Solent, where he has spent 114 games as a stalwart defender, but still earning 17 goals and 30 assists.

“I was over the moon that Alex asked me to come back,” said Wild, “I have been here some time now, and it feels like home.  The crowd at Solent really gets behind the team, and there is such camaraderie with the guys I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.”

“Mason is a highly skilled defenceman,” Alex Murray, Devils head coach, says, “He could make the roster of most – if not all – of the NIHL 1 clubs!  His experience and ability on the puck are two of the main reasons I have brought him back as my alternate captain.”

 

“Mason is a calming influence on our defensive unit,” continues Murray, “He talks to all of the boys and keeps them focused throughout the game.  I allow him and Alex [Cole] to micromanage the defence, and I feel all of the group respect his views and his abilities.”

One of the quietest players on the team, when asked the key to his success on the ice Wild simply says

“I watch the puck, I watch the players.  I like being in defence, when I am on the ice I can be behind the Devils while they are attacking, contemplating where an attack would come from if the opposition made a breakaway, I try to anticipate that and get in the way.”

Laying out his expectations for the coming season early, Murray says

“Now Mason is fully recovered from the injuries he suffered last season, I will be looking for him to lead the defensive core.  His ability in both ends of the ice will mean he will be called upon regularly, and I expect him to produce points from the back as well as being tight on defence.”

Wild returns in shirt #41 next season.  If you are interested in sponsoring a Devils shirt, or becoming a club sponsor, please contact devilssupporters@outlook.com.

Signing Alert – Alex Trendall

Today, the Solent Devils are delighted to announce the return of Coach’s player of the year, Alex Trendall.

This will be Trendall’s sixth season with the Devils, last year being his most productive season yet, 23 goals and 17 assists in the 30 games he played.  Last year brings Trendall’s stats as a Devil to 125 games with 40 goals and 41 assists.

“Alex’s performances last season were the accumulation of hard work by myself, the coaching team and him, for the last three years,” says Devils head coach, Alex Murray, “We have overcome many things with Alex, including his confidence and I was delighted with his maturity and output last season!”

Fan favourite Trendall says

“Solent is nice, the team atmosphere is amazing, there is so much banter with the rest of the guys in the changing room, and on the ice we are all in it together, it truly is a team, and it is amazing when the fans are chanting my name.”

 

“Next year will be hard, I think,” Trendall muses, “The teams will be playing harder, the competition will be much more fierce, and we are used to being in the top of the table after the last few years in NIHL 2.  We all need to work together, work hard, and hopefully we will be fighting for the top spot once more.”

Murray talks about how Trendall will need to carry on the work he was doing last season,

“Alex understands that he has to be consistent with his performances, and with no easy games in NIHL 1 he won’t be able to go missing in the game.  He has solidified his role in the top 6 forwards for our team, and as a result I will be expecting him to be producing points similar to last season.”

Trendall will be returning in shirt #10 next year.  If you are interested in sponsoring a Devils shirt, or becoming a club sponsor, please contact devilssupporters@outlook.com.

Signing Alert – Drew Campbell

Today, the Solent Devils are pleased to announce the re-signing of Veteran forward, Drew Campbell.

This will be Campbell’s eighth season at Solent, having played 182 games as a Devil amassing 190 goals and 190 assists, with just 107 penalty minutes, in a career spanning 428 games, with an enormous 1022 points (545 G + 477 A).

“I love this team,” Campbell says, “I love being here, I love the guys, I love the atmosphere.  I have played with several other teams, and you don’t get the same sense of family anywhere else.  My own son is coming up through the junior programme, so this place really is family to me.”

Alex Murray, Devils head coach beamed,

“I’m delighted Drew has decided to play another season!  Drew has been a wonderful servant to the club and to the sport in England.  His natural ability to score is known across the league, but his knowledge, experience and attitude towards hockey is significant and vital as we enter this new league.”

Campbell’s Devils career sees him appear high in most stat sheets, fifth for all time games, second in all time assists and holding the record for both all time goals and all time assists.  Campbell is the first to say that he is getting older, and talks about the strain on his body.

“It takes longer to get up these days, when I take a hit, it hurts more than it used to, and I have definitely slowed down a lot on the ice.  It seems like the rink is longer than when I first started there, and when we go to one of the bigger rinks, they seem enormous.  You have to learn to compensate though, ten years ago I used speed and strength to get me to the goal, now it is all about puck control and stick handling, guys that I would have breezed past, now I have to negotiate my way around them, keeping the puck and helping the rest of the guys get in to space.”

Murray, too, talks about the aging striker,

“Drew’s role within the team changed last season, as a result of the demands the games were having on his body!  Drew knows his body best and lets me know what he can and can’t do, and I have slowly started to use him more sparingly, on the special teams and when the team need to win face offs.  Last season he provided some stability to our young third line, and I’ll be sure to find a role suitable for Drew again this year.”

“I don’t mind that I am getting older, I don’t mind that I am not as fast as I used to be, I would do anything for this club and this team, if Alex asked me to play in goal one week, I would stand between the pipes and try and block the puck, if the team needed a defender, I would stay back on the blue line and defend as needed.  I prefer scoring goals, but it isn’t about that anymore, and I am just happy I can still support the team, playing the game I love.”

“I expect Drew to help the younger players during this transition in leagues,” says Murray,  “I’m not asking him to put up the points he has done in the past, as that role will now be asked of some of the younger guys in the team.  His experience and decision making will be vital in key parts of games, and I expect him to be ready for any situation during the game, which I know he will be.”

Campbell will return in shirt #23 this season.  If you are interested in sponsoring a Devils shirt, or becoming a club sponsor, please contact devilssupporters@outlook.com.

Signing Alert – Calumn Perella-Fox

The Solent Devils are today delighted to announce the return of defenceman, Calumn Perella-Fox.

“Calumn is a team first guy,” says Devils head coach, Alex Murray, “he is one of the hardest working members of the team.  Calumn settled back in to the club really well last season, and so it was a no brainer to ask him to return.”

Perella-Fox, obviously happy to be back for his second consecutive season and his fourth season in his senior career says

“The atmosphere in the dressing room was always great at Solent, which made the hockey fun.  The professionalism within the team and the support we get from our fans is something else, it makes Solent a great place to play.”

Perella-Fox played 30 games for the Devils last season, picking up the Shane Clacy Award at the Devils end of season presentation evening.

“Last season, I feel I started off slow,” Perella-Fox says, looking back on the previous year, “but I eventually found my feet.  I still feel I have a lot more I can bring to the team.  I need to continue building my confidence on the ice, but I am hopeful that I will bring something valuable on game days in the new season.”

Despite the reserved attitude from the defenceman, Murray seems to view him in a good light simply stating

“Calumn is a very strong defender who reads the game well, he trains hard and competes in every drill and shift.”

As the focus shifts towards the coming season and restructured league as the Devils head in to NIHL 1, Murray continues

“Calumn is ready for the step up in leagues and the challenge that faces all of us.  Calumn is determined and hardworking, and I will be looking for him to push on and play more regularly this season.”

“I think we will stand our ground,” Perella-Fox says of the future, “hopefully we will be pushing for the top spots again this year, and we can keep making the fans proud.”

Perella-Fox will be returning in shirt #44 this year.  If you are interested in sponsoring a Devils shirt, or becoming a club sponsor, please contact devilssupporters@outlook.com.

Signing Alert – Richard Facey

Today, the Solent Devils are delighted to announce the return NIHL 2 South’s leading point scorer for the last two seasons, Richard Facey.

 “I have had a great time here with the Devils,” said Facey, “the last few years have gone incredibly quickly, but it is amazing as we look back on it to see how far things have come.  For the team and organisation to be where it is now is incredible, and there are so many people that have contributed to that success.  I’ve enjoyed being part of it and I am looking forward to seeing it continue.  The team for next season is looking likely to be one of the best squads we have had, and they are all great guys as well.  The supporters who are coming to see us play now have been exceptional and really create a great family atmosphere, so when Alex offered me a spot on the team for another season it was a very easy decision to make.”

Solent Devils head coach, Alex Murray, talks of the easy decision he had to make when asking Facey to return.

“Bringing Richard back was a no-brainer, he has been the leading scorer in the league for the past two seasons and together we are changing the philosophy of hockey in Solent for the better.”

Facey’s return to the Devils will be his fifth season with the club, in a career totaling 129 games with 128 goals and 163 assists, currently seeing him in third place for Devils goals, assists and total points – and now holding the record for most points in a season, following his spectacular year last year when he amassed 44 goals and 58 assists.

“Richard isn’t one to look at his stats,” says Murray, “but does want to score goals at every opportunity, the great thing is that Richard would score in the big games, and we relied heavily on him during our league and playoff run.  His performance last year was exceptional, more so with what he is doing off the ice with the club and juniors, rather than on the ice!”

“I was disappointed with my performance last season,” says Facey, despite his many achievements and huge points tally.  “I had a number of areas in my game that were not at the level that I have been in previous year.  I picked up injuries throughout the season and often found myself struggling with aches, pains and fatigue.  This summer, I want to spend time improving my fitness, which I think will help me to avoid these issues next year and hopefully improve my contribution and performance for the team, in all areas of the game.”

The additional games that the team will be playing next year, in the reorganised league is something the Devils are working on over the summer, with Murray saying

“The extra games, the level of competition and the demand on the body will mean injuries may be more frequent, and those long term injuries will be more of a nuisance, hopefully with a good off season, Richard and the rest of the team will be fit and ready to compete.”

As they look back at the past few seasons, Facey reflects

“As a team over the last two years, we have been very consistent, and I feel that we have been constantly building and improving.  Winning the playoffs in 2018 was a really special moment and I think it left us all wanting more.  It was really painful to have missed out on winning all the other championships by such small margins, but it was a lot of fun to be in those competitions right until the end, and I think we have grown from the experience.  Hopefully we can carry this forward to our new challenge and try to put ourselves in contention again.”

This draws the thoughts towards the upcoming season, where the Devils will be playing in NIHL 1.

“I’m very excited for the new league structure,” says Facey, “I think that it will be exciting for all of our supporters to have high tempo, competitive games every week.  We have a group of players with a collective ability that deserve to be competing at this new level, and I am looking forward to seeing how a number of our players who have had great successes and growth in the past few years adapt to the higher level.”

Thinking of the team dynamic and how Facey fits within that structure, Murray sets out his expectations from the experienced forward in the new season,

“Richard will be expected to lead the team again with scoring, he is the player the team looks to when we need to generate offence, and he is always there to support the younger players as they develop.”

Facey will be returning in shirt #28 next season.  If you are interested in sponsoring a Devils shirt, or becoming a club sponsor, please contact devilssupporters@outlook.com.

 

Signing Alert – Ben Lock

The Solent Devils are delighted to announce the return of defenceman Ben Lock to the team.

Lock has been a part of the Devils defence for the last five years, having played 130 games as a Devil, with 17 goals and 26 assists.

“There is no hiding my love for this club, the fans, the management, the team, and being part of the coaching set up for the Junior Devils,” Lock says, “This club is like my second family.  It’s always a privilege to put on the Solent Devils jersey, and to be doing it again in my sixth straight year, I am excited to be back.”

Alex Murray, Solent Devils head coach says

“Lock is a key member of the Solent Devils, he forms part of the core group who I build the team around, his experience for someone still so young is invaluable.  Ben is an important part of our special teams, as well as being our best shot blocker, with him being used at crucial moments in games, at both ends of the ice.”

Lock contributed 17 points last season (5 goals and 12 assists).

“I never look at my points,” said Lock, “but it is always nice to chip in now and again!  It’s really about the team and myself as a defensive defenceman, making sure I do my job right, so our forwards can do theirs.”

“I’m always looking to improve on my strength,” Lock continues, as the thoughts start turning towards the new season, “This league will be similar to what the Devils are used to, fast, hard and playing against some very skilled forwards, so I need to concentrate on adapting my game back to that level.”

Murray, confident in the stalwart defenceman goes on to say

“The step up in leagues will be refreshing for most, and Ben in particular knows what he needs to do to be competitive in NIHL 1.  I’m confident that Ben will be ready for the task ahead and will be a leader in our team, helping the younger guys develop.”

“I think we will be a dark horse in this league,” Lock says, “We know the other teams and we can easily compete with them.  With the team Alex Murray is already building, I think the fans are in for another special year!”

Lock is also heavily involved with the youth programme at Solent, something Murray is obviously proud of.

“Ben has worked with the juniors for several years now, as part of our partnership with them.  The kids have a special bond with him, which is great to see.  Ben will continue his work with the juniors next year, as we look to develop Devils of the future.”

A fan favourite at Solent, Lock also has huge love for the supporters,

“For six straight years, the fans have been the extra person on the ice, as a team we can never thank them enough!  The noise they bring to home and away games always spurs us on when we need it and I can’t wait to play in front of them again.”

Lock will be returning in shirt #71 next season.  If you are interested in sponsoring a Devils shirt, or becoming a club sponsor, please contact devilssupporters@outlook.com.