NIHL Devils Defensive Core
The Cardiff NIHL Devils are delighted to announce the return of 5 of last year's team. Both goalies Mike Brabon and Luke Takel return to the line up, both of these guys had great seasons for the NIHL Devils last term, the up and coming Takel shared the net with experienced Brabon, Takel playing in 14 games and finished in the top 5 goal tenders with a 90.4 save percentage. One the blue line Gareth Dixon returns and takes on the role of Captain for the 2nd consecutive season, the no nonsense defenseman scored 20 points in 30 games last term for the 2nd string team. Joining Dixon at the back is emerging talent Chris Hart, Hart 22 played 13 games for the Elite League Devils last season and is hoping to build on that this term. Hard hitting defenseman James Parsons also returns to the line up, the former junior international has spent all his playing career with the Devils and has represented the club in all leagues. James brings much needed experience to the ice and the dressing room. The 6th player is Devils legend Jason Stone, Stoney will play a part time role for the Devils, the former super league star and former British Defenseman of the year adds a wealth of experience to the young team. Jason will again take on the role of an assistant coach supporting Cuddihy with Dan Brabon and Ben Smith.
NIHL Head coach Mark Cuddihy commented on the returning players
"Firstly I'm delighted to be have two great goalies in Brabon and Takel, both have vast experience in our league and they work together really well, helping each other out, Taks took a few more games last season and I expect him to challenge and take more this year, I'm very fortunate to have them both at the club. In Brabon we have one of the most experienced and talented goal tenders in our league. Harty will no doubt be looking to push on from last season and get himself more game time at Elite Level, he knows what he needs to work on to make that happen, he's a big strong kid that works hard away from the rink, his game improved dramatically last season earning him important special team mins. In James Parsons we have a true dressing room guy, somebody that gives the team a lift at the right moments and his experience in the game will Stoney is a huge help to me, having him around is fantastic. He's the most experienced guy in the league and everyone including myself learns from him every day, he's still a top player and could easily play at a higher level. Dixon had an outstanding first year as Captain for us, he lead the team in good times and bad on and off the ice, he handled the pressure really well I think he had his best season for us"
Captain Dixon added
"I happy to be back for my 10th season with the team. We've had another summer with a lot of players moving on. However it's good to have a core group of players re-signed which will help the younger guys to progress.
The turnover of players gives last seasons u18's a chance to claim a regular spot within the team. I'm excited to see how they react to the extra ice time and responsibility they'll be given. I'm sure we'll have a competitive team capable of challenging the big spenders again"
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