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Defensive Dynamo: Keyes Roars Back to Telford Tigers!

Telford Tigers are delighted to announce that Connor Keyes will return to Tigers 2 for the 2023/24 season. Keyes will not only return as a defenceman wearing the #29 jersey, but will also be Assistant Captain for a further season alongside teammate Ben Washburn. 

The now 28-year-old first took to the ice in Solihull appearing on the junior rosters for Solihull Barons and Knights through his late teen years. Keyes went on to have a spell at Coventry Blaze NIHL where he iced for two full seasons before making the move to Telford Tigers early in the 2017/18 season. 

Since then, the defenceman has not only been a solid addition to the Tigers 2 roster, but his presence is felt far beyond his on-ice duties. As a now well established player at Telford, he now assumes a mentorship role for the younger players of the team, guiding them through the ups and downs of competitive play. 

We caught up with Connor on his return to Telford Tigers.

You’re returning to Telford Tigers for your sixth season! How does it feel to return to Telford?

“I can’t believe it’s my 6th season, they say time flies when you’re having fun. I’m really happy to be back with the boys this season. Telford now feels like a second home to me after spending so much time here. Our coaching team has been working hard during the summer to ensure we are ready to go at the start of the season, retaining players from our previous season whilst adding some strength to the roster to give us more depth.”

What are your thoughts on the team’s performance the past two seasons and how do you feel heading into this season?

“The team have performed exceptionally well over the last two seasons, making history for the club along the way. I’m excited to get training, start our season with some competitive challenge games which I’m sure will be a great start for Tigers 2 23/24 season.”

This season you will be Assistant Captain once again. How do you plan to contribute as a leader and mentor to the younger players on the team this season?

“I’m really grateful to be given an ‘A’ again this season, we have a great leadership setup at the club which enables us all to work together so well on and off the ice. I’m looking forward to working with some of the younger and developing players this year to give them the best opportunity to get the most from this season.”

With each passing season, the competition gets tougher. How do you stay motivated and continue to perform at a high level year after year?

“The competition gets tougher every year, every team has good and bad games. There’s a huge talent pool across all the teams in our league making it really competitive year in year out. One of the best things about our team is everyone is here because they love hockey, they all play for the logo on the front and support each other on and off the ice.”

Are there specific opponents or matchups you are particularly looking forward to or preparing for this season?

“I’m looking forward to welcoming Billingham into the league, they have formed a new team into this year’s Division 2 campaign which is great for their players development and for the sport also. However, not so much the drive to Billingham. I think teams who placed just below us in last year’s table like Coventry and Sutton will be contenders for a ‘top 3’ place this year no doubt with their continuous improvements over the last few seasons.”

Do you have any goals or aspirations for yourself and the team in this upcoming season?

A personal goal will be to increase the amount of points I am putting up on the game sheet. I’ll start with assists and we will see about the goals (no promises here)… The goal this year for the team will be to win every available trophy we can. Secondly to give our less experienced players more opportunity out on the ice, giving them the push they need for continuous development.”

Reflecting on your previous seasons with Telford Tigers, what are some of the standout moments or achievements that you cherish the most?

“Being part of the club for 6 seasons we have achieved so much. Personally my standout moment has to be winning the 21/22 Laidler League Final against Hull on my Birthday, (19th March don’t forget it) where we had to win by 2 goals and we had a final score of 4-2. Last year’s season ended with Hull taking the league win, then for Telford to bounce back and win not only the Cup Final but the Play-off Championships too. I thought the team pulled together, everyone bought in and worked immensely hard to achieve that, ending the season on a massive high.”

And finally, do you have a message for our fans ahead of the season?

“The team aside, the fans have to be the best part of playing for Telford! I’d like to express my gratitude to all of you who support us season after season on and off the ice. Thanks for creating a great atmosphere during the games!”

Scott McKenzie is delighted to have secured Connor for a further season commenting;

“We’re very pleased to have Connor back this year. He is a key component to our roster. He has a big presence on the ice and plays a good physical game that intimidates opponents. Off the ice Connor is an important person within the changing room. He is a leader in the group and someone that we lean on at times when making important decisions.”

Connor’s own and loan shirt is available to order now for £75 (Away). Please see theTigers’ 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 

Watch out for further details about new signings at Telford Tigers, visit: or catch up on Facebook or Twitter.