Photo: David Trevallion
4th out of the hat for our 10by10 season gives us a look at last season’s NIHL1 playoff champions: Invicta Dynamos. Defenceman Tommy Ralph give us his thoughts on the upcoming season.
This off-season has resulted in a lot of changes to the league structure with the absorption of 4 ex EPIHL teams, who I would like to first welcome to the NIHL and express to the readers that here at Invicta we are relishing the step up in competition and the new challenges it will bring.
As always there have been departures and also some new faces for our club prior to the first puck drop this season. One new addition I’m sure the fans at Invicta are eager to see is my fellow Hullensian Bobby Chamberlain. Bobby will bring top quality and experience to our forward contingent and I expect him to be one of the top Brits in the league by some margin. Having played a season together in the Elite league with Hull and playing juniors together from a very young age I know very well what he’s capable of doing for this club and I’m delighted that Kevin managed to get him to sign with us this year.
In addition to Bobby we are able to welcome more new faces to Invicta this season. George Hoang, Ryan Morgan, Brandon Webster, Sebastian Downing and Louis Colvin are talented young players with a lot of potential and I expect them to really break through this season with the opportunity they have been given to play in the NIHL top tier. They’re in a good position to learn from experienced and established players and I look forward to seeing the players they can all become over the course of the season.
As with every year we have had players depart, I’d like to wish all our departures the best of luck at their new clubs. The most important thing for us at Invicta is to have a dressing room full of guys who want to be here representing Kent and wearing the Dynamos logo across their chest and I believe that is exactly what we have got this season.
We are lucky enough to welcome back two excellent imports and all round great guys in Adam Rehak and Ondrej Zosiak who I believe will once again stand out as top end players in the new league. In addition to this we have maintained the services of Callum Fowler, Scott Bailey, Mason Webster, Arran Strawson and most importantly Damien King (to name a few) that will give us a solid core of players to help the new faces settle in easily this season. Kinger will be massive for us between the pipes and I expect him to demonstrate why he’s been such a highly rated goalie for so long once again. With Bobby, Adam, Scott and Callum we have four guys who can put the puck in the net for fun to build our offense around and theirs not many teams in the league than can boast four better forwards than that.
As a team we will need to be a close group and out-work our opposition every game for 60 minutes. We need to play a disciplined game, have 5 guys been defensively responsible on the ice and not just 2, keep an even keel at all times and improve every day. With our blend of youth, talent and experience there is no reason we cant be competing to be the best of the old NIHL teams and even competing with the ex EPIHL teams. Confidence will be the key so at all times we must play with confidence and who knows what we could achieve this season. The Silverblades in Gillingham has always been a fortress for us with us rarely tasting defeat at home so we will aim to keep that streak going despite the new competition this year. We’re the defending playoff champions and wont roll over and have our bellies rubbed, if teams beat us they’re going to have worked for it and feel it for a few days after, we love blue collar hockey and that wont change.
I’d like to end by saying a massive well done to Head Coach Kevin Parrish, Jackie and Andy Mason and everyone else involved at the club for not running from the competition and working their bags off to put a team out in the new league format. Their work can often go unnoticed and unappreciated but as somebody on the inside and seeing how much effort they put into this great club I’m proud to be a part of it. Lastly, to the fans, we can’t wait to get back out on the ice in front of you, we always pack the barn out and theirs no reason we cant have the house rocking every game this year again. Best fans in the league and always will be.
Invicta Dynamos start their league campaign on Saturday 9th September when they travel to Basingstoke Bison before hosting MK Thunder on Sunday 10th September.
You’ll be able to find all the remaining articles in our 10by10 season previews (as they are released) together with all the previous seasons’ articles on the following link: http://482days.com/category/10by10/