Lewis, now heading in to his third season with the Devils at just 19 years old, spent some time in the junior programmes in Swindon and Guildford, as well as Solent, including being on two way contracts with the U18s and Devils 2, over the last two seasons.
Solent Devils head coach, Alex Murray, says
“Elliot is a wonderful, raw talent, who has a mature head on young shoulders. Elliot will eventually follow several other Solent players in transitioning to the National League, but for now we are delighted to have him continue his development with the Devils!”
During his time with the Solent Devils last year, Lewis played 31 games, contributing 8 goals and putting up another 8 assists, keeping down to just 10 penalty minutes. This brings Lewis’ Devils career to 54 games played, 15 goals and 11 assists, which includes a trip to Bracknell at the end of the 2018/19 season, where Lewis was a part of the playoff team, competing in the final against Chelmsford Chieftains.
“There are always things you can do better in your personal game to contribute to the team.” Says Lewis.
“Overall, I would say it is always a confidence booster, putting goals and assists on the board, where I can help the team get two points from games. However, it’s what I was playing like off the puck that I was not satisfied with last year. I was still playing with bad habits on some occasions, and I was not happy with that. I was making silly mistakes that were easily avoidable, that did not benefit the team. Last year was still my first official year as a senior player and I learned an awful lot from the experienced players, who pointed out when I was making mistakes and gave me corrective advice to improve me as a hockey player.”
“I’m really impressed with how Elliot performed last season,” says Murray.
“Elliot played the majority of the season as our second line centreman, which is a big responsibility for someone so young.”
Continuing Lewis’ comments about how the other players help in the development of the younger players, Murray goes on to say,
“Elliot is great in the dressing room, he is loved by everyone so there are always people in his ear helping him develop. His father, Mark, is also a very experienced hockey player and coach, so he is lucky he will be getting feedback from his peers and parents, as well as his coaches, from every training session and game.”
Looking forward to the new season, Elliot outlines a few of his goals and how he hopes to contribute towards the Devils in their upcoming campaign,
“Personally, this year I would really like to cement my position within the squad, with getting more time on special team situations, but that wont be given to me, I have to make sure I’m doing all the right things, and listening to what Alex is telling me, as well as working hard in training. My main goal is to bring my work ethic to the team, with the plan to bring back silverware to Solent, which the fans rightfully deserve.”
Aligned to the young player’s thoughts, Murray agrees,
“Elliot has to continue his progression, being more consistent with his performances, as well as set a points target to achieve. Elliot is humble enough to accept this, and work tirelessly on improving, which I know he will.”
This season, we are delighted to announce McCormick will be sharing his time between Solent and Basingstoke as he secures a two way deal with Ashley Tait’s Bison.
Last season, McCormick played 27 games for the Devils, picking up 5 goals and 6 assists. McCormick, has come up through the Junior system in Gosport, with 93 games, 25 goals and 38 assists.
“Rhys has great potential,”
says Devils head coach, Alex Murray,
“he was a Gosport junior so I have always had a great connection with him, we get on really well and he is someone who I would like to help develop into league one in the very near future. He has a great shot and skates well, which are key attributes to get to the next level.”
McCormick says he didn’t hesitate in returning to the Gosport,
“Coming back to the Devils for me, was an easy decision after the successful season we had, winning the play offs and narrowly missing the league title by one point. It was a huge achievement for us as an organisation. The professionalism of this team is second to none, which, as a player wanting to take their career further I feel you need that level of professionalism. I committed to the Devils at the start of the summer, but had a fantastic opportunity to take a two-way with the Bison, Alex [Murray] was very supportive in my decision to take it, which means a lot to me.”
Looking to the year ahead and what McCormick will bring to the team, he says
“I definitely expect a lot more out of myself this season, last season was a great learning curve for me, trying to soak up as much experience and advice from some of the core players in the team to enhance my development.”
Development is something Murray continues talking about
“Rhys understands that for him to be effective at senior level, he has to become more confident in his ability and the application of his skill set during games. It’s easy to train well, but to implement that into a game environment when points or titles are on the line is no easy feat, and so we will look to work on that together this year.”
“I think I will bring a hard working attitude to the team,”
“I’ve always liked to be a hard working player. I personally bring a lot of speed with my skating ability, quick hands and my ability to shoot in my stride, also, being able to shoot the puck quickly if pursued. I think that is something offensively I can bring to the team. Ideally, I see myself as a two way player, but that’s something I still need to work on to piece everything together, along with the physical side of the game.”
These thoughts are clearly echoed by Murray,
“Rhys is progressing very well, considering he started the game as a teenager he is very committed and passionate about the sport and this will help with his development. We look at all aspects of training, from physical to mental and to ensure he is ready for the challenge ahead.”
McCormick continues looking ahead
“This season, I feel will be slightly more challenging for us, with no disrespect to the teams in the league last season. The other teams have improved their line-ups over the summer, and we have lost some key guys. That doesn’t stop us from wanting to be – and having the ability to be – champions again. Every team is going to want to beat the champions, that is in any sport, but as a team we have to take each game at a time, and stick to the systems Alex will put in place for us, by doing that I certainly feel we can carry on our success from last season.”