The club are pleased to announce that Ryan Leese will be making the step up to senior hockey this season, appearing on the rosters for both Telford Tigers 1 and Telford Tigers 2.
Leese joins Telford Tigers this season after playing junior hockey in Telford for several years. Last season saw the 16-year-old play for both Tigers U16s and Mercians U18s where he picked up an impressive 56 points across 27 games.
For the upcoming season, Leese will be seen on both Tigers benches, fulfilling the new roster requirements at NIHL National level whilst also developing his skills set in the Laidler league. The youngster will also continue his commitments with the Telford juniors playing for the U18s side.
We caught up with Ryan ahead of the season starting.
This will be your first season with the senior Tigers organisation, how do you feel about making the step up?
“I’m very excited to get the season going, I believe training with both the Tigers 1 and Tigers 2 teams for the past year has made me feel a lot more confident going into the season. I feel ready to help the team to win games.”
How have you been preparing for this new challenge during the offseason?
|I have not had any time off the ice or out of the gym, the hard work hasn’t stopped being in the gym everyday and going to Slovakia for a pre-season tour with some of the best players in Britain for my age group against the best players in Slovakia, I believe this will give me a very good advantage going into the season.”
How do you plan to handle the pressure and expectations that come with being a new player in the team?
“I believe I just need to play my game and play simple and I will grow into the season positively, also asking help from the guys on the team that have been playing for a while with a lot of experience will help along the way.”
Have you set any specific goals for yourself as you step up to play at a higher level? If so, what are they?
“My goals are to work as hard as possible to make sure I can play my part in the team winning games, and to gain a lot of experience this season playing with the boys.”
Are there any specific senior players you look up to or hope to learn from during your time with the team?
“I have already learnt a huge amount from the Defensive core in the senior team, they’ve all taught me a lot of stuff I didn’t know about, I believe I will pick up more stuff from them throughout the season as I play and ask questions which will develop me highly as a player.”
Are there any specific opponents or games you’re looking forward to this season?
“I think it’s always exciting playing a close gritty physical game against big oppositions and rivals, of course it was Hull last season battling out for the playoffs, cup and league, big games like that are what you really look forward too.”
And finally, is there anything you would like to say to our fans ahead of the season?
“I cannot wait to get the season going, pack the barn and make a lot of noise as it will help us a lot this season.”
Telford Tigers 2 Coach Dougie Wildman is delighted to welcome Ryan on board for the season commenting;“Ryan is a junior we’ve had eyes on for a while and has trained with us since last year too. Not only competing for the National side, he has stood out all through all his juniors ice time. Now, we’re finally getting to see him in senior hockey and we’re pretty excited. He has great composure beyond his years and he isn’t afraid to lead the charge from the back when it’s needed. We’re looking forward to introducing Ryan to his senior hockey career and we’re excited to see what he can do over the coming years.”
Ryan’s own and loan shirt is 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