Position: Defender

Jamie Fitzpatrick

Sponsored by Gordon Pooley

Fitzpatrick has played 235 games as a Devil – his whole senior career – making him second in all time appearance, only beaten by Devils captain, Alex Cole.  This huge stretch with the Devils has seen Fitzpatrick lift the championship trophy twice, in addition to the play-off trophy last season.

Last season Fitzpatrick played 17 games, scoring once and providing three assists.  This takes his total to 26 goals and 90 assists, making him the Devils highest scoring defenceman with 116 points.

“Jamie is someone I have grown up with,” said Devils head coach, Alex Murray, “we’ve played together since juniors, he is a Devil through and through and to be a one club man for so long is a testament to his commitment to our club.  Jamie understands me and the team well, and is a team first guy on the ice.  He is quiet around the changing room but plays with his heart on his sleeve and will do anything to help the team achieve its goals.”

Talking to Fitzpatrick, he makes it clear why he has returned to the Devils,

“Coming back to play for the Devils is always an easy decision, especially with the atmosphere during the game from the crowd and the desire and passion to win from the lads on the ice.  There are no individuals in the team, every player that steps onto the ice plays for the team and each other, which makes it a successful and great team to play for.”

Being a defender with the impressive attacking stats – not to mention his long range shot – Fitzpatrick talks about the difficulties he had pushing forward in the 17/18 season.

“Not being able to train last season made it difficult for me, especially with my attacking decisions, making the correct pass or play in the offensive zone wasn’t my strongest attribute.  Working back in Gosport, I am looking forward to actually being able to attend training and step up my offensive game.”

Murray, however, seems to have no complaints over Fitzpatrick’s performance.

“I am looking for more of the same from Jamie, he is a solid defenceman who can hit, shoot and skate hard.  We have a strong defensive core and I will be looking to Jamie to continue to impress and keep our goals against down.  Jamie is a defenceman first, and while he can play on the wing if required, he will continue to patrol the blue line for us again this year.”

Fitzpatrick had a work commitment for the play-off final, so was missing from the game where the Devils lifted the cup, however, he was there for the semi-final the day before, and he mentions this while talking about his excitement coming in to the new season.

“It was great to be on the ice for the semi final and help the team get the win and into the final.  I was disappointed that I had to leave and head back to Plymouth for work.  We only just missed out on winning the league, and then to win against some of the top teams in the league to get to the play off final and win was a massive achievement.  I am looking forward to actually getting onto the ice for training to improve my game, but mots of all challenging and being in that top spot at the end of the season.”

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.”