First up, returning for his second season with the Devils is former Solent Junior Paul Petts. ‘Pottsy’ as he is known to his teammates is a member of the Basingstoke Buffalo, but will extend his two way deal with Solent. Last season he iced 24 times for the Basingstoke club across the Buffalo and U20 team averaging over a point a game with 11 goals and 20 assist. In the 10 games for Solent the speedy right winger notched an assist to open his NIHL1 account. Speaking on signing, the Gosport born, 19 year old spoke of his desire to continue developing “I’m excited to be returning to Solent to continue my development. I am hoping to use last year as a set up to what potentially could be my breakthrough season. I felt that my first season was a good year for me as it helped mature me as a player and allowed me to get a taste of a higher level of hockey”
Another Basingstoke Junior signing for the Devils is 17 year old Rhys McCormick. Rhys is a product of the S&G Junior system and has recently returned to England following a spell out in the GMHL. The agile left winger iced 25 times for the Coldwater Falcons last season before averaging over a point a game for the Basingstoke u18s upon his return. “It’s a great opportunity for me to develop as a player and a person. Solent is a team I’ve been watching since their first season in the NIHL1, which was when I first started playing hockey. Now to have a chance to wear the Devils jersey is defiantly exciting”
Last up is Guildford Junior Jacob Rondeau-Smith. The 19 year old Brit, is a versatile player, who can play as both a forward and as a defenceman. In 12 appearances for the Guildford u20s team last season Jacob tallied 4 goals and 6 assist. Speaking on signing for Solent Rondeau-Smith is also eager to develop “I feel really good about signing for Solent. I know they will challenge me and make me work hard, which will ultimately improve me and my attributes”.
Head Coach Alex Murray has spoken of the importance of local partnerships “The Solent & Gosport Junior programme is going through a transition period, with support from the senior side we aim to get it back up to a level in which we can start developing our own local talent to break into the Devils. In the meantime I’m delighted that my relationships with both Basingstoke and Guildford continue to grow, Head coaches Milos Melicherik and Simon Beere are very supportive and are more than happy for their players to progress and develop under my guidance at NIHL1 level. I have changed the philosophy of the club to ensure we our sustainable at this level, and it’s great to see that Solent is now a place where young players want to come to ply their trade. I’m more than happy to offer them support and eventually see them progress on to a higher level of hockey”
Paul Petts will continue to wear the number #27 jersey and will be sponsored by Gosport scaffolding. Rhys McCormick will wear #86 and OC Plumbing will sponsor Rhys. Finally Digico will sponsor Jacob Rondeau-Smith who will wear the now vacant #21 jersey.
Season tickets are now on sale, with 10% off during August. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated 22:43 - 27 Aug 2016 by A J Beal Webmaster