Photo Credit (all, unless otherwise specified): Tony Sargent
MK Thunder have made a number of impressive signings this season. One of these is defenceman Ross Green, who has an impressive 9 seasons with EPL team MK Lightning under his belt despite being only 24!
482Days: To start with, how did you get into playing hockey?
RG: I first began playing through a schools program. My primary school would come to the ice rink once a week, and play for our P.E lesson. And I progressed from there.
482Days: You had your first call up to the EPL Lightning side when you were still an U16 player, what was that like – especially since it was going straight into the high-pressure of a playoff game?
RG: It was a fantastic experience, despite not getting much ice time. For me as a young guy coming into the changing room feeling the atmosphere and seeing how all the senior players would prepare themselves for such a crucial game was a big learning curve on how to be successful at that level, and helped to motivate me to want to play at that level.
482Days: After that you were on 2-ways with U18’s, Thunder and Lightning for the next few years – did you need to make any major changes to your game depending on which league you were competing in?
RG: The standard differed so much between each of the leagues that I wouldn’t be able to get away with making the same plays at u18s as say EPL level so I would really have to adapt my style of play depending on the situation I was in. My role within each team were significantly different as there where different expectations. For example I wasn’t expected to go out and provide much offense in the EPL where as in the ENL and Under 18s I would play on the powerplay.
482Days: How much ice time were you getting altogether, training and playing with 3 teams like that?
RG: I was on the ice training around 7 hours a week and sometimes playing 3 games a weekend.
482Days: You have been a ‘one-club’ player at MK, an increasingly rare thing these days – what was it at MK that kept you so loyal?
RG: I feel I owe a lot to Milton Keynes and the opportunities they have provided me with over the years. They have always had such a professional organisation and a great group of fans which has meant that it has always been an easy decision to stay.
482Days: You represented GB twice, once each at U18 and U20 level. – What was that experience like? – U20’s especially was a tough year – being relegated from Div 1A (a very high standard), what was the playing level of the other teams like?
RG: Its such a proud moment to represent your country. I was fortunate enough to play in Div 1A twice. The level of hockey was so high, your playing against future NHL prospects who are at the tournament looking to impress the scouts from north America and Europe.
482Days: How would you best describe the style of hockey you like to play?
RG: I would say its fast direct and competitive.
482Days: What was behind your decision to drop back down a league to NIHL this season?
RG: I broke my leg towards the end of the 14-15 season. because of the injury I didn’t play as much as I would have liked last season so I saw it as a good opportunity to take a step back work on my fitness in order for me to move forwards in the future. I had a few offers from other teams this year but after talking to Goresy and seeing the team he was putting together I felt I have made the right choice.
482Days: You are coming in as an assistant coach to the team as well. How is the relationship between you and Paul Gore working so far?
RG: I’ve known Gorsey for along time, he has coached me before and he is a big reason I’m the player I am today. Its been going really well. He has been very open to any suggestions and ideas that I have put forwards. We had a few meeting to discuss ideas and strategies we would like to incorporate this season. and I’m really looking forward to working with him this season.
482Days: NIHL1 South has become increasingly competitive in the past few years. What do you think MK have to do to challenge the top 4 or so sides this season?
RG: I think that they have improved significantly on last season, with the acquisitions Gorsey has made over the summer. however I think consistency is going to be key for us this season. if we can manage that im sure we will surprise quite a few people.
482Days: We learned from Ross Bowers’ 10by10 piece that your nickname is ‘Sloth’ – how did that happen!?
RG: Michael Farn and Ross Bowers came up with the name about 8 years ago – apparently we couldn’t have two Ross’s on the same team and they thought I was so slow at doing things. They then saved ‘Sloth’ as my name in their phones and I’ve been called it ever since. I even have a sloth tattoo!
482Days: Who is the best player you have played with?
RG: Played with – that would have to be Martti Jarventie. However Ross Bowers will be annoyed that I didn’t pick him.
482Days: And the best player you have played against
RG: Played against has to be Tobias Rieder. He plays for the Arizona coyotes in the NHL. I played aginst him twice at the 2010 and 2012 world championships.
482Days: What’s your proudest moment in hockey?
RG: Winning my first international game, Beating Hungary at the 2010 world championships in Poland and standing on the blue line singing the national anthem at the end of the game.