Whitley Warriors re-sign another five to 2014-15 roster

Whitley Warriors have signed five more players to their 2014-15 squad.

Netminders Richie Lawson and Mark Turnbull, defencemen Paul Matthews and Josh Maddock along with power forward Jordan Barnes will all be part of Simon Leach’s roster next season.

All five iced for the team last term as Whitley finished fourth in the NIHL North Moralee Conference and qualified for the end of season play-offs.

Securing the services of Lawson is a great boost for Warriors as he has proven himself to be one of the top netminders in NIHL North over the last few years with some eye catching displays in between the pipes.

Competing alongside Lawson for a goaltending spot on the roster is youngster Mark Turnbull, who made his senior debut last season and went onto to appear in a number of important games for the club.

The youngster will no doubt want to see more ice time this term as he looks to develop his career in the NIHL North set up.

Despite the 2013-14 season only finishing a few weeks ago, Warriors’ 2014-15 squad is already looking to have strength in depth and the signings of Barnes and Maddock increases the talent coach Simon Leach has at his disposal.

Barnes and Maddock, who are both long serving Warriors, appeared in every competitive Whitley game last term.

Barnes was able to notch seven goals during the campaign while also proving that he could stick up for himself and his team-mates when required.

Blue liner Maddock enjoyed a solid season in defence and picked up four assists along the way.

Lining up in defence alongside Maddock will be Matthews, who came out of retirement to ice in defence for Warriors midway through the 2013-14 campaign ,impressing a many NIHL North observers with his displays in the second half of the season.

Despite only appearing on ten occasions, Matthews was still able to contribute seven points to the Warriors cause.

Speaking about his decision to continue to lace up the skates for Warriors this coming campaign and also about the dynamics of the Whitley roster, Matthew said: “I decided to re-sign for next season after enjoying my time back on the ice.

“My concerns were picking up injuries and taking a younger player’s spot, but fortunately both of those reasons never came to fruition.

“The Warriors are a tight knit unit and I felt I slotted straight in when I returned and have been encouraged by all to re-sign for the coming season.

“We have added Dean Holland to our roster, who I think will be a great addition, and I know Simon is working hard on players for the new season.

“As far as my ambitions go, I hope we can finish higher in the league next year by being much stronger on the road and more ruthless in any games we take the lead in.”

The club has also confirm that young blue liner Christian Johnson and experienced forward Karl Culley will unfortunately not be playing for Warriors next term.

Johnson is moving to Aberdeen to study chemistry at university while Culley has decided to retire after an illustrious career that saw him net almost 700 points for the club.

The club thanked both players for their efforts over the years and wished them all the best for the future.

Warriors now have 12 players confirmed for the 2014-15 season and fans are reminded to check Warriors website on a regular basis as up to date news will be released weekly on Wednesdays.