Pye, Queenan and Maddock all commit to Whitley Warriors

Whitley Warriors' Callum McQueenan. Picture by Colin Edwards
Whitley Warriors' Callum McQueenan. Picture by Colin Edwards

Whitley Warriors blue liners Dan Pye and Josh Maddock along with young winger Callum Queenan will all be part of the club’s squad for the 2015-16 campaign.

All three were part of the set up last term as Warriors finished in sixth in the NIHL North standings.

The 2015-16 campaign will be Pye’s second season in maroon and gold as the big defenceman signed for the club in the summer of 2014 when he moved back to the north east from the Isle of Wight.

His ability to read the game and his physical presence are amongst the attributes that make him one of the toughest NIHL North defenceman to come up against and his presence on the Whitley blue line next season is a huge boost to the entire organisation.

Icing in defence alongside Pye will be long serving Maddock, who has been with the club for around the last six years.

Maddock has a wealth of experience and has more than 100 appearances in ENL/NIHL hockey despite only being in his early 20s.

Maddock said: “Once I heard that Lobby [David Longstaff] was taking over it was pretty much definite that I wanted to re-sign.

“I’m looking forward to hearing some fresh ideas and getting some extra guidance on how to further improve my game.

“As far as aims for next season go, I think we have to look at least getting back into a play-off spot and giving the fans something back for all the support they give us.”

Meanwhile Queenan enjoyed a hugely successful campaign last year as the youngster burst onto the scene with a string of highly impressive displays.

The teenager netted four goals and picked up a further seven assists in his first full season in senior hockey.

Queenan’s efforts were rewarded with a call up to the GB U18 squad for the World Championships in Estonia, and he also picked up the Pro Hockey News Young Player of the Year Award for his performances in NIHL North for the Warriors.

Player-coach Longstaff is delighted with the way his squad is shaping up and is pleased Queenan has chosen to remain with the club.

“I think our recruitment is going pretty well, I’ve spoken to a lot of the local lads who are all keen to ice for Warriors next season,” he said.

“I’m pleased we’ve been able to secure the services of Callum Queenan, he had offers to go elsewhere and start to earn money out of the game, however, I’ve spoken to him about how I’d like to help him improve as a player and he’s keen to progress at Whitley.

“In a year or two’s time he may well move away as his career progresses, however, at this moment in time I feel that staying with Warriors is in his best interests as he will continue to see plenty of ice time and as much help as we can give him.

“Securing the services of our more experienced players such as Dean Holland, Jamie Tinsley and DJ Good is also pleasing as all of those guys have great experience at NIHL North level.

“I’ll be looking at getting the right players in the right lines so we can be the best we possibly can be out on the ice.

“A number of players who I need to know a little bit more about have expressed an interest in joining the club and we will be holding trials in due course were these players can come along and show us the qualities they have to offer.

“It would be great if one or two of these players had the necessary skills to join the Warriors roster for the coming season.”

Warriors will be announcing further signings next week as Longstaff continues to build the roster ahead of the 2015-16 campaign.