Telford Tigers are delighted to announce the return of Ben Washburn for his ninth season. Kicking off his hockey career in Telford back in 2005, the now 26-year old progressed his way through Telford Trojans and Telford Titans before making his senior Tigers debut in 2014.
Washburn has played a key role in the Laidler side, including being part of the league championship winning roster in 2022 and the more recent double winning team as playoff and league cup champions last season. The forward will return to Tigers 2 continuing to wear his trademark number 40 jersey and will once again assist team mate Oli Hunt as the team’s Assistant Captain.
This is your ninth season with Telford Tigers, how does it feel to be back for the 2023/24 season?
“It feels like time has absolutely flown by. I feel incredibly lucky as I’ve loved every minute of the past 8 years at Telford. To be back for a 9th is just as exciting as any of the other years. We have an amazing group of lads so to get back to seeing them multiple times a week and battling for each other is something I look forward to. Personally it’s been a tough 12 months for me and the family… Not just the lads but the extended hockey family were there every step of the way and that’s why this team is so special.”
You have been part of the same team who has won the league in 2022 followed by the cup and playoff double in 2023. What are your thoughts on the team’s performance the past two seasons and how do you feel heading into this season?
“I think there is absolutely no question that on paper we have and have had for the last 2 seasons an incredibly talented roster. What is difficult to identify on paper is how those players perform under pressure and in the face of adversity. Through both the playoffs and cup final last season we were missing very important players due to injury (as we were for the majority of the year) but even with only 2 lines we found a way to win against very talented and gritty opposition. They are characteristics only achieved through experience and something we displayed we are capable of.”
Reflecting on your previous seasons with Telford Tigers, what are some of the standout moments or achievements that you cherish the most?
“Steven Crowe slow motion sliding into the boards in Altrincham, if anyone wants to see the video feel free to ask!
In all seriousness winning any championship with your mates is an amazing experience. But being the underdogs and winning when the chips were down against a team as talented as Hull is even sweeter. Playoffs were amazing and to win the cup on home ice in front of a packed telford ice rink was even better!”
With each passing season, the competition gets tougher. How do you stay motivated and continue to perform year after year?
“Playing a part to try and chase the highs of the season prior is enough motivation for anyone I think.”
Are there any specific areas of your game that you have been focusing on during the off-season to further improve your performance this year?
“Fitness and health are the main two areas.”
Do you have any goals or aspirations for yourself and the team in this upcoming season?
“I wouldn’t say any particular goals for myself, just to be the best version of me I can be and to do whatever is required to help the team achieve success.”
And finally, is there anything you would like to say to our fans ahead of the season?
“The love and support has been amazing over the years and we can’t thank you enough.”
Telford Tigers 2 Head Coach Scott McKenzie commented on Washburn’s return;“When I think of what Ben brings to the team I would describe him as a glue player. Someone that is committed, rarely misses practice or games, puts the team first and is Telford Tigers through and through.
Ben is a leader within the group and someone that is well respected and trusted by the coaching team. As a player he never complains, moves up and down the line-up and his performance rarely dips. He is a part of the core group that we have managed to keep together over the years and is a big reason why we are able to continue to be successful.”
Ben’s own and loan shirt is now available to order now for £75. 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