New player coach Ollie Barron will get a chance to assess how his new look RTL Widnes Wild squad is gelling in back to back home and away games against fellow Laidler Conference contenders Altrincham Aces over the forthcoming Bank Holiday weekend
With several exciting new arrivals bolstering the existing Widnes squad – including Barron himself in his first season as a player coach – the two games will offer a fascinating introduction for club and fans alike and give a few clues as to how they are likely to fare in the forthcoming North 2 season.
After a slow start to last season, the Aces only just missed out on a play-off spot and they have strengthened last season’s squad with new arrivals. These include Blackburn Hawks title and playoff winning defender from the 2014/15 season Czech defenceman Pavel Slowik and former Manchester Phoenix and Telford Tigers EPL netminder Declan Ryan.
The Aces may only just be heading into their second season in their latest incarnation – having spent previous years playing as Trafford Metros and Manchester Minotaurs – but the Altrincham name has a proud ice hockey history dating back to when the original Devonshire Road rink opened in in 1961.
During the 1960s, Altrincham was one of the few rinks in the country that staged regular senior hockey and most of the stars of the day played there at some point. The Aces were founder members of the Southern League in 1970 and won the league title in 1973 and 1977.
With the advent of the British League in 1982, the Aces played in a 3-section Division One with a rather complicated interlocking schedule based on geographic location and ability and they came out champions of “Section C”. Assuming that nobody ever again comes up with a similar odd league structure, that is a title that they will probably hold forever….
The Wild play Altrincham Aces away at Silver Blades Altrincham on Saturday 27th August with a 6.15pm start and entertain them at home at Silver Blades Widnes on Sunday 28th August – 5.30pm face off.
Admission for the home game is £6 for adults and £3 for children.