The YKK-sponsored Widnes Wild are pleased to announce the return of three key players from last season’s league and play off double winning team for the forthcoming 2019/20 Laidler Division season.
The first is Daniel Fay, who made a tremendous impression on team mates and fans alike in his debut season with the Wild, having joined last summer from his native Bracknell – where he played in NIHL South for the Bees and Hornets before moving to Merseyside to go to University last September.
Fay played 34 games in all for the Wild last season scoring 4 goals and 8 assists from his defensive position. He represented Great Britain at the World University Winter Games in Krasnoyarsk in Russia. Daniel received numerous MVP awards during his first season with the Wild, was presented with the best defenceman award at the End of Season awards evening and was also voted Supporters’ Player of the Season.
Talking about his return, Daniel said: “ I am very excited to re-sign with the Wild. After the success we had last year, I cannot wait to get back to it next season and try and bring back more silverware to Widnes.”
The second returnee is Shaun Dippnall who has been with the Wild since the team first started, apart from a brief period across the border in North Wales with the Deeside Dragons.
Dippnall has played some 165 games for the Wild in NIHL North 2 scoring 85 goals and 186 assists in that time – and previously played for Trafford Metros and the Altrincham and Blackburn youth teams. Last season he played 26 league and play off games for Widnes, contributing 14 goals and 32 assists and picking up just 6 minutes in penalties.
The third signing is netminder Matt Croyle who is coming back for his fourth season with the Wild. Croyle originally came to Widnes in the summer of 2016 as part of the group of players who accompanied new head coach Ollie Barron after their Sheffield Spartans team was unceremoniously pushed out of the Sheffield rink due to internal politics there.
In his three seasons at Widnes, Croyle has played 88 times for the Wild, faced 2739 shots with just 219 goals getting past him – leaving him with a very impressive 92.00 Save %.
Croyle has been the top netminder in the Laidler Division for the past two seasons and will be keen to add to the league title and three play off titles that he has won since joining the Wild.
Talking about his decision to return, Croyle said: “I am really looking forward to building on what the Wild have achieved over the last 3 seasons. It was an easy decision to come back. Hopefully we can do something special again.”
Report by Paul Breeze.