Whitley Warriors are delighted to announce that Captain Dean Holland will return to their roster for the 2021-22 campaign.
This will be the seventh consecutive season that 32-year-old forward Holland will lace up his skates for the Warriors and he brings with him a wealth of experience, having previously played in both the EPL and the Elite League.
Holland first embarked on his ice hockey career at Sunderland before progressing quickly to divide his ice time between Newcastle Vipers’ EIHL, ENL and Under 19s sides in 2006 which was followed by a call-up to Team GB’s Under 20s outfit at the World Junior Championships in his 2007-08 campaign. Remaining with the Vipers until the team’s demise in 2011, Holland continued to ice in the Elite League and the EPL for Dundee Stars and Telford Tigers respectively. A return to Hillheads in his 2011-12 season saw Holland record 24 goals and 16 assists in 22 league games but a move to Guildford Flames drew the forward back to the EPL for a further two seasons where he was crowned EPL champion in both league and cup competitions.
Showing his commitment to the Warriors in recent seasons, Holland was awarded the captaincy after fulfilling the role of alternate captain on his return to the club in 2014. Since then, the forward has accumulated 79 goals and 109 assists in NIHL 1 North and most recently led his side to league title success in their 2019-20 campaign.
Speaking of his decision to re-sign for the Warriors, Holland told us yesterday: “I’m really excited to get back to playing again after the year out everyone has had. I think it will be a tough ask to retain our league title but I’m sure we will give it a good go and hopefully play some good hockey.”
“Myself and David Longstaff are delighted to have Dean back,” General Manager Paul Matthews shared. “He is a stalwart forward and looked up to by all of the lads. He is a captain and a leader. He leads by example on the ice and looks after his fitness off it; he always gives his all. He had a good season last time out and he can hopefully replicate that this season. Last season was tough for everybody, especially the players, with the campaign being cut short. Hopefully this time, we can have a full season.”
Welcome back, Dean!