Whitley Warriors Presentation Night, 26 April 2014 - buy tickets online
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Holland returns to Hillheads while Warriors also confirm Crammond, Harley and Harris on their roster

2014-04-21 20:07:08
Whitley Warriors are pleased to announce that Head Coach Simon Leach has been able secure the services of forwards Dean Holland, Martin Crammond and Harry Harley alongside defencemen Dan Harris for the 2014/15 campaign that will get underway this autumn.Dean Holland who last played for Warriors in the opening weeks of the 2012/13 campaign has opted to move back to the NIHL North and ice for Warriors having spent the majority of the last 2 seasons in the English Premier League with the Guildford Flames. Dean has enjoyed much success during his time in Surrey and he was able to contribute a total of 10 points last season as Guildford qualified for the end of season play offs in the EPL set up.Another forward who has been confirmed on Whitley’s roster for the up coming campaign is Martin Crammond (son of Whitley’s manager John) who has been part of the Warriors senior set up since 2007. Martin had a hugely successful 2013/14 season as he was able to contribute a total of 15 points in competitive games as well as establishing himself as one of the top penalty killers on the Whitley roster.Joining Martin and Dean in the Warriors squad is Harry Harley who re-joined Whitley mid way through the 2013/14 season when he opted to leave his role with the Peterborough Phantoms in the English Premier League to return to his roots on North Tyneside. Harry played in a total of 8 Moralee Conference match ups for Warriors and averaged better than a point per game form which saw the skilful youngster trouble many NIHL North defences.Whitley Coach Simon Leach has also been able to add a defencemen to his roster with the signing of Dan Harris. Dan Harris returned to the Warriors squad in the summer of 2013 having spent the previous 2 seasons icing in the EPL for the Basingstoke Bison and the Milton Keynes Lightning respectively. Dan quickly resettled into life back at Whitley Bay though and he was one of Warriors top defencemen last term contributing 4 goals and a further 11 assists from his slot on the blue line.Warriors Coach Simon Leach shared his views on his latest additions to Warriors squad and how the Whitley roster on a whole is shaping up ahead of the 2014/15 season.“We are delighted that we are able to announce this quartet of players. Dan Harris was definitely one of our stand out defencemen last year. He is now a very experienced, dependable d man and has an all round solid game and we will look for Dan to once again be one of our top performers next term. “Harry Harley, joined us on deadline day from Peterborough in 2013/14. Harry has had a great impact since his return to Hillheads scoring some vital goals for us. His ability to play both as a forward and in defence gives us good options when it comes to our special teams. His talent is unquestionable and we will certainly be looking to him to carry improving and playing a major part in the future of the Warriors.“Martin Crammond is a superb all round team player with an excellent attitude to match situations. He is a very consistent performer who will play wherever for the good of the team. Strong on the penalty kill and a very disciplined player who has also chipped in with goals at crucial times. Another important part of the jigsaw and we are very happy to have him back on board.“Dean (Holland) has agreed to join the club for the upcoming season after a spell with the Guilford Flames in the EPL. Dean will bring a good variety of play to our team. He can score goals, create opportunities for his team mates and also brings a physical element to the team which is certainly something we missed at times last season. We are hoping he brings all of the experience he gained whilst playing in Guildford to our group going forward. The club would like to welcome Dean back into the Warriors fold.“Things are really starting to take shape and the coaching staff are happy with the work that has been carried out so far.” Dean Holland gave his thoughts on becoming a Warrior again. “It’s great to be coming back to play for Whitley and Simon Leach. Simon is a great coach and he knows the game like the back of his hand. He is putting a great team together and we will be pushing to bring championships back to Whitley. Warriors have a great dressing room with super players. It will be great to be back in the room with all the boys.”Martin Crammond and Harry Harley also gave their thoughts on re-signing for Warriors.Martin - “I am looking forward to the up and coming season because I feel we can better ourselves from the 2013/14 season. This will be an exciting challenge for us all and I feel Simon (Leach) has the ability to push us in the right direction. “I enjoy working with Simon as I feel he has the correct drive and ambition needed to coach a team like the Whitley Warriors. Harry - “I liked what I saw last year with how Simon ran things at Whitley so it was an easy decision for me to sign for the coming season. Simon is a good coach who knows what he is talking about so hopefully we will able to finish higher up the table and do some damage in the play offs this coming year.”Warriors now have a total of 7 players confirmed for next season and with more signings anticipated in the coming weeks fans are advised to keep a close eye on the clubs website www.whitleywarriors.net. Chris Mackenzie 

Warriors move quickly to secure the futures of DJ Good, Reynolds and Tinsley

2014-04-15 19:14:42
Despite the 2013/14 season finishing only a few days ago, Whitley Warriors Head Coach Simon Leach has quickly moved to re-sign DJ Good, Adam Reynolds and Jamie Tinsley for the upcoming campaign. All three players made major contributions last term as Whitley secured a top four finish in the league which saw Warriors qualify for the play off weekend. Adam Reynolds was one of the top forwards in NIHL North last season, tallying 46 points in the 27 games he iced in. He was also voted onto the top all star line in the end of season Pro Hockey News Awards. DJ Good was selected on the third all star line in the awards which was reward for a consistent campaign for Warriors' long-serving forward who iced in every game of the season and contributed 39 points in competitive match ups. Jamie Tinsley appeared for Warriors on 26 occasions in the Moralee Conference and averaged just under a point per game. Jamie's quality on the puck and his committed style of play saw him pick up the Warriors Player of the Year accolade.Simon Leach spoke about his latest signings for Whitley."We are delighted to have secured the services of our three captains from last season. They are all very important players for the club and are vital for the club's future. They all bring something different to the team and are certainly three of the top forwards in our division."They give us a great platform to build around so it is a fantastic start to the summer for the club. We hope to be adding more names to the squad very shortly with more returnees and maybe a fresh face or two."All three players were delighted to commit to Warriors for the 2014/15 campaign under the tutelage of Simon. Jamie Tinsley spoke about his decision to ice for Whitley next term. "I enjoyed last season playing under Simon and Dave [Holland] so I was keen to sign again for next season. We are off to a good start with next year's roster with Simon back and DJ Good and Adam Reynolds also confirmed."I would like to think we could finish higher up the table next year and also make sure we pick up victories when we are in commanding positions in games."Warriors top scorer last term Adam Reynolds also shared his views."I'm happy to be back with Warriors, I like Simon's view on the upcoming season and where he wants to take the club. Hopefully we can keep on challenging for honours."Experienced Whitley forward DJ Good who has captained Warriors for the past two seasons also spoke about re-signing for the club."It was an easy decision for me to re-sign as I want us to improve on our showings in 2013/14. I want to show what I'm really capable of and I want to achieve more with the team as we go forward. We have a really good spirit in the dressing room and all of the lads get on well."Warriors are currently in discussions with a number of players to establish their plans for the 2014/15 campaign and once any further signings are confirmed details will be published on whitleywarriors.net.Chris Mackenzie

Whitley suffer play off heartache in Dumfries against the Solway Sharks

2014-04-12 15:29:01
Whitley Warriors travelled up to the Scottish borders for the NIHL North play off semi finals on Saturday lunchtime. Warriors Coach Simon Leach was able to choose from an extensive roster giving the only players missing from the Whitley line up were defencemen Nathan Ryder and Callum Read. Coach Leach opted to start the game with the experienced Richie Lawson in goal with Joe Harley backing him up, 5 defenceman were rotated during the match up on the blue line while 3 lines of forward were used with several fringe players being given shifts on the 3rd offensive unit throughout the game. Warriors took the first penalty of the contest after 5 minutes of play when blue liner Josh Maddock was given 2 minutes in the sin bin for delaying the game. Whitley were able to successfully kill off that penalty however Solway took the lead 4 minutes later when Craig Thurston fired past Richie Lawson in the Warriors goal. Solway then took their first penalty of the match on 11 minutes which saw Whitley go on the powerplay and Warriors re-jigged specialist unit grabbed Whitley’s first goal of the play offs when Jamie Tinsley fired home after being nicely set up by Callum Watson and Dan Harris. Sharks re took the lead on 15 minutes when Stevie Moore grabbed a powerplay marker and Solway led 4-1 at the end of the opening period of action thanks to a further strike from Craig Thurston and a goal from defenceman Frazer Goldie. Warriors were dealt another blow towards the end of the 1st session of play when Dan Harris had to leave the ice due to injury and the skillfull blue liner was unfortunately unable to play any further part in the game. Whitley created plenty of chances early on in the 2nd period and Callum Watson got a goal back for Warriors 3 minutes into the middle stanza when he got the better of Sharks goaltender Gary Russell. Shortly afterwards Sharks import forward Pavol Melichercik was given a 10 minute personal penalty for misconduct which saw the talented Solway forward in the penalty box for half of the middle period of play. Adam Reynolds then went close for Whitley on 2 occassions however it was Solway who grabbed 2 goals midway through the 2nd period when Struan Tonnar and Iain Bowie lit the lamp in quick succession which saw Sharks hold a 6-2 lead after 40 minutes of end to end hockey. Warriors got their 3rd goal of the game on 49 minutes when Adam Reynolds netted a powerplay marker and shortly afterwards Harry Harley went close however Solway netminder Gary Russell was able to deny Harley with a accomplished save. Whitley then were presented with another powerplay opportunity when Sharks Connor Henderson was penalised for tripping however Warriors were unable to make their man advantage count on this occasion. Despite giving everything they had Whitley could not find a way back into the game and Solway advanced to the play off final thanks to 6-3 scoreline. Sharks went onto lift the Play Off Trophy on Sunday afternoon when they got the better of the Blackburn Hawks by 2 goals to 0. Warriors Points Callum Watson 1+1, Adam Reynolds and Jamie Tinsley 1+0, Dan Harris, DJ Good, Harry Harley and Karl Culley 0+1Penalty Minutes Warriors – 16Sharks – 20 Shots on Goal On Warriors (Richie Lawson) – 32On Sharks (Gary Russell) - 25Whitley skipper DJ Good shared his views on Warriors play off semi final. “The result wasn’t good but everyone worked hard. It could have gone either 1 when it was 1-1 anything could have happened we could have just edged it but they got away from us and given they havn’t got any weaknesses in their team it was always going to be extremely difficult once we were a few goals down. “Dan Harris who is one of our best d men got injured during the 1st period and we missed him and then were then a little bit weaker at the back. We seemed to be on the wrong end of a lot of the calls but at the end of the day the better team won.”Man of the Match for Warriors was goalscorer Adam Reynolds while Iain Bowie was chosen as Sharks top player during the contest. Warriors 2013/14 season is now complete and the new campaign is likely to get underway in early September though there will be regular updates throughout the close season on Warriors own webpage www.whitleywarriors.net and also in the local press.  Chris Mackenzie 

Warriors head to Dumfries for NIHL North play offs

2014-04-10 13:09:47
Whitley Warriors head to the Scottish borders this weekend for the first ever NIHL North Moralee Conference Play Off weekend. Warriors take on league champions the Solway Sharks in the first semi final on Saturday afternoon at 1pm with the Billingham Stars facing the Blakcburn Hawks in the second semi final which is due to get underway at 4.30pm.Whitley head into the weekend at almost full strength as the only Warrior who is not able to ice this weekend is d man Nathan Ryder who is ruled out of action with a shoulder injury that has seen him endure a stop start campaign. Warriors Coach Simon Leach shared his views on the Warriors play off preparations and prospects.“Everyone associated with the club are looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead this weekend. The team as a whole have worked extremely hard this season to qualify for the play offs and we are certainly there on merit, having fought right to the end in a very competitive league where teams around us have had the luxury of recruiting imports and players from higher leagues.“Credit must go to all involved and I would like say a huge thank you to the great support the team have received this season and we hope we can do you all proud in Dumfries this weekend. We are certainly going into the game on Saturday as massive underdogs as we face the champions on their own ice. We will be going there to give it our all on Saturday and I have told the players the only pressure we should feel is the one we put on ourselves to perform like we do in any other game, as I believe all the pressure will be on the Champions on the day to perform in their own rink. “We know the task we face is huge and that Solway have been by far the best team in the league this year, but this comes down to a one off 60 minute battle which I am sure we can be up for. “I would have liked our play off preparations over the past few weeks to have been a bit better but due to work commitments and other situations we haven't been able to have the full squad together for the challenge games and training. On the plus side we will be travelling with virtually a full squad to Dumfries and we are going to need that come game time.” Tickets are still available for play offs for those fans who make a late decision to attend the weekend and can be bought from http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/search/Dumfries+Ice+Bowl+Dumfries. Individual game tickets are priced at £10 with a weekend pass at £25 which also includes entry to the Pro Hockey News Awards presentation on the Saturday evening.  #For those supporters who are not able to make it up to Dumfries to see Warriors in action. All 3 of the weekend’s games will be broadcast on NIHL Radio which can be accessed via the NIHL Radio link on the clubs website www.whitleywarriors.net.   Chris Mackenzie 

Warriors lose out in challenge match up on Teesside

2014-04-06 13:30:53
Whitley Warriors lost 7-3 to the Billingham Stars away from home in a challenge match up on Saturday evening on Teesside. Warriors were without a number of first team regulars for the game including Mark Good, Christian Johnson, Jamie Tinsley, Adam Reynolds and Mark Turnbull, which forced Whitley to alter their normal lines a little.Warriors were a little short of d men which saw power forward Jordan Barnes switched from the wing to a more defensive role. Honours were even at the end of the first period with James McCabe grabbing the Stars opening goal on 4 minutes. Karl Culley equalised 4 minutes later with a powerplay marker for Warriors with Daniel Harris and DJ Good picking up the assists. Whitley enjoyed the middle session of play as Callum Watson made it to 2-1 to Warriors with a tap in following a powerful shot from Daniel Murdy on 34 minutes. Just over a minute later a fine strike from DJ Good made it 3-1 to the away side after the skipper had been set up by line mates Karl Culley and Ben Richards.Billingham had the better of the 3rd period of play as the Stars were able to net 5 unanswered goals by the 56th minute mark. Warriors then opted to pull 1st choice goaltender Richie Lawson with back up netminder Joe Harley playing out the remainder of the game however Stars were still able to add another goal to their tally with young d man Matty Campbell firing home in the dying stages of the contest which resulted in Warriors losing out by 7 goals to 3. Warriors Man of the Match was goalscorer DJ Good while the Stars best player on the night was adjudged to be young netminder Kieron Kerry who replaced James Flavell in the Billingham net during the course of the game. Warriors Stats Points Karl Culley and DJ Good 1+1, Callum Watson 1+0, Daniel Murdy, Paul Matthews, Dan Harris and Ben Richards Penalties Warriors – 6 minutes Stars – 2 minutes DJ Good shared his views on the match up “The game went really well for the opening 40 minutes and Warriors were the better team however we let them get into their stride in the 3rd period and they scored some weak goals from our point of view. “It has to be remembered we were missing a huge number of players and in my opinion we played the best we have done for a long time in the opening 2 periods of play. Jordan (Barnes) played on d due to others players unavailability and he had a good game back in defence.”Whitley are in action next weekend in the NIHL North Moralee Conference play offs. Warriors face League Champions the Solway Sharks in the opening game of tournament at 1pm on Saturday afternoon and everyone connected with Whitley will be hoping their team can overcome Solway and claim a place in the play off final which takes place the following day. Tickets for the play offs can still be bought via http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/search/Dumfries+Ice+Bowl+Dumfries and it would be great to see as many Warriors fans as possible up in Scotland for the first ever NIHL North play off weekend.  Chris Mackenzie 
 
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