Telford Tigers are delighted to announce the return of defenseman Rhodes Mitchell-King for the 2023/24 season.
Mitchell-King, returns for his second year at the club after joining last summer and made 52 appearances for Telford last season and also during his time at the club he won a GB U20 call up. Rhodes will continue to wear the number 91 shirt for the forthcoming season and was awarded the club’s Defenseman of the Year award at the recent Presentation Evening.
We spoke to Rhodes about his return to the club:
Last season was your first season at National League level. How do you feel you coped with the jump in standards?
“It took a bit of getting used to but I enjoyed the new standard of hockey I was facing. I felt that it was more competitive which made for a long, hard fought season. I felt I improved as the season went along, so hopefully that will continue into next season.”
What was behind your decision to return to Telford?
“I had a great first season with Telford Tigers and didn’t have any reason to look to change things up, I’m looking forward to hopefully another great season in Telford and improving as a player and seeing the team improve as well.”
Last season saw the team have some ups and downs. Was it a positive season for you?
“There were some ups and downs throughout the season but overall I think it was more on the positive side for me, especially being my first in the league. I enjoyed playing at National League level and although our league position wasn’t anywhere near where we wanted to be, it was still a good season for me in terms of my development.”
Is there any area of your game you are looking to improve next season?
“I think the main area I would look to improve on is my offensive contribution to the team. I want to score more goals and get more points but want to make sure that as well as getting more offensive production I still stay solid on the back end of the ice.
You played in the USA previously for Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings. How was it playing in a different country? What made you return to the UK?
“It was a great experience playing junior hockey in the States. I was originally planning on spending two or three more years there playing junior level before attempting to play at a collegiate level. I would most likely still be there playing in America if I wasn’t presented with the opportunity to play here at Telford.”
You played for GB U20s last season. How did that feel when you heard about your call up?
“I think that being selected to play for your country is one of the greatest honours a player can experience. Although the tournament didn’t end exactly how we would’ve liked, we still walked out with a silver medal which is a great achievement. It was a positive experience and was great to be involved in such a good squad of players.”
Were you disappointed that your brother (Austin) moved from Telford so you didn’t get to play in the same team together?
“It would have been nice to play on the same team as Austin last season, but he is based in a different place now and logistically, elsewhere was a better fit for him so it wasn’t really an option for him and me to play in Telford together. It does give a bit of rivalry when we face each other though and I am looking forward to reigniting that rivalry again next season.”
Do you have a message for the fans ahead of the new season?
“The noise from the crowd in the games at the end of the season and at Coventry in the playoffs was fantastic and it really helps the team in games when we have that sort of support so I would say to our fans, keep the barn loud next season and give us that same sort of support and we will do our absolute best to do our part on the ice!!”
Head Coach Tom Watkins, commented on Rhodes’ return, “Rhodes was a figurehead for our defensive core last season logging thirty minutes ice time nearly every night, playing on the power play and penalty kill units during all the big moments. At times he was probably played too much but he never shirked any of the responsibility even when we as a team weren’t in a good place he showed his metal, his commitment to make a difference to help the team. I think that says a lot about his character and the person/player he is and I only expect to see him improve further again next season. I expect him to be better defensively, I expect him to improve his first pass and puck support, I expect him to be better on the offensive blue line playing five on five and on power plays. I think for sure he can do that, he did it during the playoff run we had and if he replicates that form he will be a valuable player for us! He was a good player last season and I’m expecting an even better player next year and I think that’s really exciting for us and for him.”
Rhodes’ own and loan shirts are available to order now for £150 each (Home and Away). Please see the Tigers’ Online Shop for details.
In the 2023/24 season, Tigers are again offering individual player sponsorship at £500. The package will include a personalised ‘SPECIAL’ exclusive third jersey with a company name or family name patch, announcements on match nights, a small advert or logo in the match night programmes and a signed player photo. The jersey will be worn for cup games and play-off games and will not be available as a replica.
If you are interested or require more information on the individual player sponsorships, contact email@example.com