Whitley Warriors are pleased to announce that senior netminder Richie Lawson will once again be plying his trade at Hillheads during the 2017/18 campaign. Richie has proven himself to be one of the top goaltenders in NIHL North in recent years and his presence as Warriors last line of defence gives Head Coach David Longstaff and Assistant Coach Dave Holland a solid base to build their roster upon.
Richie linked up with Whitley back in the 2011/12 term and has been part of the Warriors set up ever since then. He has been able to record impressive statistics (both save percentage and goals against averages) throughout his time with Warriors and throughout his whole career in the ENL/NIHL set ups.
Richie shared why he’d opted to ice next season and also gave his views on the 2016/17 campaign.
“I relish the opportunity to play for the Warriors, which is the highest level my work commitments will allow. Last season was a difficult campaign for us with lots of ups and plenty of downs for various reasons. On a personal level I wasn’t happy with my own performance over the stretch of the season either. I know I’ve got an awful lot more to offer the team than what I did last year.”
Warriors number 35 then shared his aims for the new season both personally and for his team on the whole.
“Speaking as an individual, my goal is at an absolute minimum to give my team a chance to win every night, regardless of which league we are playing in. The competition could be incredibly tough depending on how things transpire, and what direction management and the club want to travel. Consistency in performance will be key, so my off-season preparations have to be much more professional than they were last year to best prepare myself for the upcoming campaign. It’s too difficult to set a team goal at this early stage- it goes without saying I’d love to be competing for top places and a chance to compete in the playoffs. A lot depends on the structure of the league, the financial investment from owners, what team Lobby and Dave can physically afford to put together to best compete… there are too many external and even internal factors to weigh up right now. It wouldn’t be British Ice hockey without a bit of controversy though… you’ve just got to enjoy the ride!”
Richie then chatted about the possibility of teams from the old English Premier League dropping down into the NIHL North set up which could happen during the course of the 2017 close season.
New teams/ EPL sides dropping to NIHL “would have a huge knock on effect to all teams in the league… financial investment in your team is no longer a luxury, but a necessity to even survive! Imported talent will be an enormous part of the success or failure of any team in that proposed league structure, especially given the depth of British talent in teams looking to join. I will personally have to up my own game – as will all of our guys!”
Thanks to Richie for taking the time to speak about his re-signing for Warriors and the new season that will get underway in the autumn.