Telford Tigers are pleased to announce the return of Fin Howells for the 2023/24 season. Howells will continue to wear the number 46 shirt and will start his fifth year with the club. Fin – who was recently jointly awarded the club’s Player’s Player of the Year award – had his best season at senior level last season, scoring a fantastic 67 points at a rate of over a point game, chipping in with 35 goals.
We spoke to Fin about his return to the club:
This will be your fifth season with the club. How does it feel to come back for another season?
“It seems surreal to think this will be my fifth season with Telford, my first season was when I turned 16 and I joined mid season after I had just returned back from Canada. To sign again for the 2023/24 season feels great I can’t wait to get going again for the club and the fans!”
You had a terrific season last year scoring your best ever total of 67 points. What was behind the sudden jump in production?
“Yeah, last season I set a target of 50 points for me and I would say having more ice time than previous years helped a lot. I matured into the role and the support from my team mates gave me the drive to succeed. I try to give everything I have in every game including a couple of teeth!”
35 goals was a landmark to hit as well. You trebled your goals tally from the previous season. What was the reason behind this?
“To score 35 goals felt great and to be second only to Kev (Vladimir Luka) was also something I didn’t expect. I always like to give myself a target and Tom gave me the chance with playing on the top two lines and power play unit, I was given the opportunity to achieve my goals for the season.”
Can you improve on that next season?
“I will improve next year, I will be training hard in the gym through the summer to come back stronger and I have already set myself a target for the upcoming 2023/24 season.”
What was it like during the long bad run the team had last year? How did you turn it around?
“The long bad run for the team was really frustrating as we had lost a number of players due to injury or other reasons, we were just not firing with the short bench we had. When we had the extra boost of the added players Tom Carlon, Gareth O’Flaherty and Rory Herrman it helped with lifting the team and gave us back the belief and fight to grind out the wins again.”
You played a lot on the same line with Vladimir Luka? How good is he to play with?
“It’s great to play with Kev, we have a good friendship off the ice and chemistry on the ice, the guy is a sniper and very rarely misses the net. He has to be one of the most dangerous players in the league in front of the net. Hopefully we get a chance to be line mates again next season.”
When you were younger you went to Ontario Hockey Academy for a year. What was that like? Did that help shape your game when you returned to the UK?
“I left for Canada when I was 14, it was a life changing experience being dropped off at the airport and getting on that flight to Ontario not knowing what to expect. We were on the ice nearly every day and in the gym, the style of North American hockey is similar but a lot more physical, you need to keep your head up for sure. I would say it helped shape my character and certainly helped my game being on the ice as often as we were and playing with older players and a decent level of skill and ability. To be successful in any sport takes commitment and hard work either in the UK or abroad so I would say that is the key to success.”
Do you have a message for the fans ahead of the start of the new season?
“My message to the fans would be, be loud and fill the rink as this makes a great difference to the team. I can’t wait to play again in front of this great fan base we have here in Telford, hopefully we can bring some silverware home in 2024.”
Tom Watkins, Head Coach and General Manager, said, “I am delighted to get Fin back for another season, he is another young player that continues to improve. A career high goals and points tally last season, which is to be expected when playing in a top six role for the first time in his career but doing that playing in a team that at times struggled for offence last year is a big accomplishment. It will be difficult to make many big strides in that point production so for Fin to improve his game it’s about making a difference to the game in other areas, playing away from the puck, bringing that tenacity we know he has, consistently. Fin has a lot of confidence and someone we believe can be a big player for us and get us back up the table where we want to be.”
Fin’s 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.