It is with deep sadness and regret that the YKK Widnes Wild have to announce that Player/Coach Ollie Barron will not be returning the club next season as a player or a coach as he is taking a break from ice hockey to focus on his family.
Ollie has brought unprecedented success to the Wild winning the Playoffs in each of the three season’s he has led the club and this season has secured the League and Playoff double.
Speaking on behalf of the Wild, Matt Lloyd said;
“Although it’s not a surprise as Ollie had told me he was thinking of taking a break earlier in the season I had hoped he would change his mind. Sadly he hasn’t, however I fully understand his decision and appreciate his desire to spend his weekends with his family.”
“Speaking as his friend I will miss spending time with Ollie at weekends however I do think he is making the right decision and I’m sure Jordanne and Betsy will enjoy the extra time they have with Ollie. Speaking as the chairman of the Wild I’m devastated and can only say that whoever steps into the coaching role has big skates to fill.”
“What is nice is that Ollie has made it clear that Ollie see’s the Wild as “his” club and he will always be available if needed in any capacity to help the Wild’
“On behalf of the club I would just like to say thank you to Ollie for the pleasure and success he has been a major part in creating”.
In a message to the #WildOnes Ollie said;
“I have had a fantastic 3 seasons as Player coach of the Widnes Wild, but now is the right time for the new coach to take over and continue to push this club forward, We now have a great junior system in place which in future seasons will feed the senior team”.
“I have many people I need to thank over my 3 years at the Wild, but there’s a few people that deserve special recognition.”
“First of all Matt Lloyd. Matt give me the opportunity to coach the Wild when I found myself without a team, I was new to coaching, but excited by the challenge, 3 seasons later the club now has 4 pieces of silverware, 3 playoff titles and a league championship. It’s fair to say we’ve had many highs and a few lows over the last 3 seasons, but Matt supported me in every decision I made, he stuck by me for 3 seasons and for that I am very thankful.”
“Mark Gillingham, Gilly has being a massive part of the jigsaw of the Wilds success, He has been involved for the last 6 seasons, and I couldn’t have done the last 3 seasons without Mark as assistant coach. He has a wealth of knowledge for the game and is an excellent coach, a top guy and great friend.”
“Not forgetting the fans, they have been truly exceptional, we simply have the best fans in the league, they support the team in large numbers home and away, the club just continues to grow. Thank you to every single fan for your support over the past 3 seasons.”
“I joined the Wild as player coach 3 seasons ago, I now leave as a Widnes Wild fan. The club is very special, and I ask the fans to get behind the new coach and team just as you did me, and I wish everyone all the very best for the future.”
“I’m sure I’ll be seeing you all at a Wild game next season. I hope to see as many fans at the presentation night on the 4th May, to celebrate our great season.”
“Thanks for a fantastic 3 years Widnes Wild”.
“#7 Ollie Barron”.
The YKK are currently in talks with several quality coaches about taking over the role of Head Coach and helping build the club to a position where it is sustainable to move to a higher division and supporting the development of the Wild Academy.
At the first home game of next year’s league season the YKK Widnes Wild will be retiring the number seven jersey in honour of Ollie and all he has done for our club.
Thank you Ollie.