Whitley Warriors have secured the signing of former player Ryan Sample, who has come out of retirement to ice for the 2013-14 campaign.
Sample last iced for Warriors back in the 2010-11 season when the side secured the ENL North championship.
His best season points wise was a few years earlier in the 2007-08 term when he was able to accumulate 33 points from the 19 games he iced in, which included an impressive 15 goals.
Sample is also not afraid of the physical side of the game as his statistics back up. He has twice picked up more than 100 minutes in penalties during a league campaign.
Warriors coach Simon Leach said: “We would like to welcome Ryan back in to the fold here at the club.
“Having spoken to Ryan over the past few weeks we are happy that we have him on board.
“Having been out of the game for a while it may take hime a bit of time to get up to speed, but I am very happy with the addition and I know Ryan is looking forward to pulling the Warriors jersey on once again.
“As well as being a very talented player who can change a game, Ryan also plays a physical game, which is something that will certainly benefit the team going forward.
“He has always been a popular guy in the dressing room so he will ease back in to Warrior life.”
On his return to competitive hockey after some time out from the game, Sample said: “I’ve had a two-year break due to injury, work commitments and having a baby girl. I feel the time is now right to get playing again.
“Fingers crossed I can be match fit for the Manchester and Telford games this weekend but I have been out two years so it’ll be up to the gaffer.”
Further positive news for Warriors fans is that the versatile Nathan Ryder could also return to the ice this weekend.
Leach said: “Nathan Ryder is not too far away from a comeback to the team so competition for places is high, and with the younger players impressing both in training and in the games they have had ice time in, it can only be a good thing for the team moving forward.
“We want to ensure we can use the squad that we have to our advantage, so it is very important to have a full compliment of players in as many games as possible.
“The league has already shown that it is going to be its most competitive yet so we must be in a position to compete every night.”
Warriors fans are reminded Whitley have a double header of fixtures this coming weekend with an away clash at Manchester on Saturday evening before a home match up with the Telford Titans at Hillheads on Sunday (face off 5pm), both games are NIHL North Moralee Conference contests.