Watkins Returns! Telford Tigers are delighted to announce the return of Tom Watkins as Head Coach and General Manager for the 2021/22 season. Watkins returns for the fourth year in the dual role, but it represents his twelfth season as the first-team coach. Watkins is the Tigers’ most successful coach in the club’s history, winning three league championships and two cups during his spell in charge. Watkins will lead the club in the defense of the NIHL National League and Cup titles for the forthcoming season.
Watkins, commented, “I’m very excited to be finally looking ahead to the new season and personally I’m delighted to continue my association with the Tigers once again. Telford has been my home now for 18 years or more, but I originally came to Telford as an 18-year-old from Durham and played 3 seasons with the Tigers before moving on as a player. Not for one second then did I think I would be heading into my 15th season as a Tiger some 25 years later. This will be my twelfth season as coach of the club and I’m very proud of what we have achieved in that time. My role has also changed during those 12 seasons and I’m very fortunate to have a large group of people who support me in my role and share my passion for this great club. I’m grateful to Club Chairman and owner Mike Washburn for his continued support, allowing me to develop and shape the team and the club. We have come a very long way in those 4 years and built a club that people are very proud to be part of and is at the heart of the local community. We hope that continues. I am very motivated for the start of the season. I can’t guarantee the success we enjoyed during the 2019/20 season but can promise you a team that will play with the same intensity, hunger, commitment and determination every night and will never quit. Whilst the Spring Cup was a lot of fun to be part of and mentally it came at the right time for us all, to play without the fans in the building was a very different experience. I can’t wait to see you all back in Telford Ice Rink, socialising with friends and getting behind both the National League and D2 teams.”
Mike Washburn, Chairman of Telford Tigers, commented, “Tom and I have worked together for years – and since taking over Telford Tigers we have always had a close relationship and clear strategy for the ongoing success of the club. The last 12 to 15 months have been horrendous for all of us for many different reasons. One thing though has remained constant throughout – Tom has continued to work closely with me to ensure that we get through the bad times. I can see the green shoots of recovery, and it’s fantastic news that Tom retakes the reigns both as Head Coach and General Manager of the club. On the ice, I believe there is no better Head Coach in the National League. Off ice, Tom has really matured as the club’s GM and provides excellent support to me as the Chairman. Personally, I am super happy that he is back and look forward to picking up the Tigers’ success story from where we left it before the pandemic. I would like to say most sincerely to Tom: Welcome back – this is a much-needed boost for the season to come.”
Tigers would like to thank Volvo Cars of Shrewsbury for being Tom’s personal sponsor again for the 2021/22 season.