Photo: David Trevallion
Our penultimate season preview sees us move to Kent as import defenceman Ondrej Zosiak talks about the new Invicta Dynamos team.
I will start with a short review of the previous season (2017-2018). As we know the league went through massive changes and lot of teams been suddenly involved in this process of joining 2 leagues together. After the first EIHA meeting, we had one structure for the league, then after a short period time some teams made the decision to drop down a league which was shame. Especially decent teams like Chelmsford who played prime hockey in recent years. From my point view, it made the decision even harder for the remaining NIHL teams to stay and try compete against strong ex-EPL teams who just reduces amount of imports from 5 to 2 but still kept a big part of their squads together. After this none of these 9 teams knew what to expect from season. Some teams adapted to this new league better then others.
Unfortunately, we were one of those teams whose absolutely didn’t adapt well to the higher level of hockey and our performances would be up and down. One day we could compete with teams like Swindon or Bracknell and take points from them and the next day we’d lose against our opponents from the season before, who we used to win against!
I would say our biggest success last season was to remain in the league and keep playing until the end, even when things were not going well! Our biggest failure was the attitude of many our players who thought after winning playoff in the season before, they were too good to work hard and some were constantly looking for mistakes somewhere else but not in themselves. That’s why you will see a lot of new faces this year in our squad.
This season you wont see in Dynamos jersey players whose been big part of our successful win in playoff finals 2016/2017 like Mason Webster, Tommy Ralph, Ashley Jackson and Damian King who all of them left to different clubs (or sports – as Ashley Jackson went back playing professional field hockey). We can wish all of them good luck in their future. But it’s not all about the players who left, I think we’ve picked up a lot of good players and brought some quality to the our squad!
In the net it’s gonna be Adam Long and this ex-EPL net minder is good enough to step up and replace Damian King.
We’ve brought some speed and winning spirit with Joe Allen and twins Cameron and Grant Bartlett – both of them played an important part of Chelmsford Chieftains success in recent years and I can say they didn’t lose it for one year playing NIHL2.
After a few years Callum Best has returned to the club. I remember Callum having playing against him in the last 3 years and he always been good player who can score some goals. We won’t expect anything else and are glad to have him back.
With the return of Arran Strawson and the signings of Matt Foord (who can play both as defence and forward) and Andy Monroe on blue line – we are also getting some experience and skills in our team.
Martins Susters also joins our squad and with him we are getting a young talented player who has already played EPL for Phantoms a couple of years ago and put in some real numbers. He is big boy, his skating ability are really good for his size and his shot it’s gonna be nightmare for all the opposition netminders.
Another important return after few years to Dynamos jersey and true leader, our captain Anthony Leone should bring all the boys together and make them leave maximum on the ice.
We’ve also put together some mixture of young players like Louis Colvin and Jake Stedman who have a lot of potential if they can listen to the coach and work hard.
We also can welcome in our squad Brandon Miles, which many people will think it’s gonna be replacement for Mason Webster if things will go rough, but Mason also did put some goals into the net and i think Brandon will do as well.
Our squad wouldn’t be complete with another import and this season it’s gonna be Slovak forward Edmund Piačka who is coming from Slovakia top league where he played over 300 games, scored some goals and won championship with HK Nitra couple years ago. When i was playing in Slovakia against him i remember his skating abilities are on a high level, he also has a dangerous shot and even if he is not a big guy he can hit really hard.
Coach Parrish is also trying to bring another quality defenceman, name well known in this league but we will have to wait if he is gonna join us for upcoming season.
That’s a short review in my opinion how our squad looks. What we can achieve this season is totally up to us. There is not going to be superstars in this team, everyone will have to understand their role, working hard, standing up for each other and most important: playing like a team and playing for the logo on our jersey for Invicta Dynamos.
If we will do these things then we can surprised many people this season.
Invicta Dynamos start their league season by hosting Bracknell Bees on Sunday 16th September. The following weekend they travel to Romford to play the Raiders on Sunday 23rd September.