Telford Tigers are delighted to announce the return of James Smith to the Telford Tigers 2 roster.
Smith first represented Telford Tigers during the 2013/14 season where he first appeared on the EPL roster. The 29-year-old has produced some outstanding hockey for Telford over the years, including an all time NIHL 2 record for the most assists (53) and goals (56) scored during the 2014/15 season.
Last season was a challenging one for both Smith and Tigers fans, as planned surgery left the team without one of their most influential players for several months of the season. The knee operation was a significant obstacle, but it never deterred Smith from returning to the ice ahead of the final push for silverware.
Despite the interrupted season, Smith still managed to put up an impressive 31 points in 14 games, including four goals and three assists at the 2023 Laidler playoff finals weekend. For the 2023/24 season, Smith will once again be seen wearing the number 94 jersey for Telford Tigers 2.
We caught up with Smith as he returns ‘home’ again for another season:
You’ll be returning for your ninth season with Telford Tigers, how does it feel to return home again?
“Yeah it’s a good feeling to be back for my 9th year since i’ve come to Telford its become my second home.”
You had a super solid line with Karol Jets and Paul Davies towards the end of last season. How did you find playing with that line formation?
“Yeah we played some real nice hockey as a line. Me and Karol have played together alot and always had a good connection on the ice and Paul has fitted in very well.”
You took some time out last season for a knee operation. How did you find the recovery process?
“It was a difficult recovery. It was very long and frustrating, especially when I came to watch home games at the rink.”
You were fortunate enough to return to ice after a quick recovery and be part of the double winning team. How did it feel to win the league cup and playoffs double?
“Yeah, coming back last season, especially after surgery, was great to lift some silverware in front of our loud fans.”
Last season you bagged an impressive 34 points in only 14 games. What’s your secret to success?
I don’t really know… I’m always hungry to score goals and try to be the best I can be when playing which is a big motivator.”
What role do you see yourself playing within the team dynamics this season?
“I see myself as being a leader in the team and to pass on the experience to the younger players while also performing to a high standard.”
Reflecting on your previous seasons with Telford Tigers, what are some of the standout moments or achievements that you cherish the most?
“Winning league and cup trophies in various seasons has been great. It was wicked to return last season after being away from Telford for a year and going into a double win of silverware.”
And finally, do you have a message for our fans ahead of the season?
“Keep being loud! The support we have seen over the last season has been amazing and it really makes a difference in those tough games.”
Telford Tigers 2 Head Coach Scott McKenzie is pleased to have secured Smith again for the upcoming season commenting:“Getting Smithy back is huge for us at Telford Tigers 2. He is a natural goal scorer and when he returned from injury last season, he played a huge part in helping us win the Cup and Playoffs double. We are fortunate enough to hopefully have a fully fit James Smith for a full season this year which is like signing a brand new player. Smithy is a valued member of the group and another core piece to help us maintain our success.”
James’ 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 firstname.lastname@example.org