New Widnes General Manager Wesley Spurrett (back 2nd from right) with coach Mark Gillingham (3rd right) and equipment manager Charles Humphreys with the Wild after the NIHL North Cup win. (Photo by Geoff White).
The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild have unveiled a new General Manager (GM) to see over the running of the club. Wesley Spurrett had previously been appointed team manager for the Wild NIHL team and has now had his remit widened.
Explaining the difference between a team manager and a General Manager, Spurrett said:
“The team manager role basically focuses on the players themselves and making sure the team has everything it needs to be on the ice. As for the general manager role, this covers all aspects of the club such as putting a team on the ice, the staff and volunteers for the games, as well as the business side of the club too.”
“It is obviously a significant step up for me, but luckily I have some experience with all the aspects required for the role so I am really looking forward to taking the role by the horns!”
Talking about his background in sport and how he came to join the Wild, Wesley said:
“I have always been involved with various sports and committees, but more recently I have been involved with the Manchester Storm in a number of roles since their rebirth in 2015. As well as launching and managing my own recreational team the Manchester Swarm. So running a hockey club and knowing the ins and outs of how a hockey business works isn’t something new to me.”
“Luckily, I have grown a really good relationship with Chairman Matt Lloyd through various hockey outlets over recent years, and he was kind enough to entrust me with the club through my experience.”
The Wild club have had to do a lot of work behind the scenes in order to qualify for elite status to be able to take part in the current competitions. Commenting on what needed to be done, Spurrett said:
“The first part was to create a safe environment for the players to come into, through testing and putting social distance friendly measures in place, which rink manager Paul O’Prey and the team at Planet Ice were incredible in facilitating for us, and we cannot thank them enough for.”
“Then we had to get a team together and get the team ready for the recent Streaming series, and the current Three Rivers series. The last series plaudits must go to the amazing job favourites Ollie Barron and Mark Gillingham managed to do, which was nicely topped off with a deserved series win!”
When asked about the long term benefits to the Wild club of the two short-term cup competitions, he said:
”These series have been great to get some new talent that we possibly wouldn’t have been able to get if all the regular seasons were on, so that will help the team and coaches with some new experiences, as well as bring the league some fresh exposure. It is also great for the fans to be able to see different players and skill levels throughout both series.”
Asked about the current set up at Widnes and what changes he might consider bringing in, Spurrett said:
“The foundations at the club are great. And I think that shows with the amount of success the team have had over the last few seasons. Getting to know the team, and the amazing volunteers in the background fills me with a lot of confidence that there is little to change, more continue what we are doing.”
“I do want to push more fan interaction with the team, and our new social media manager, Rebecca Clayton, has already started us on that path brilliantly. And with the new addition of head coach Richard Haggar the team are in great hands on the ice.”
“I would love to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the warm welcome so far. I am really looking forward to continuing the recent success the team has enjoyed, and bringing the best Wild experience possible to the fans!”
The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild were without a game last weekend but get back into action in the Three Rivers Cup competition when they travel to Nottingham to take on the Lions this Saturday 24th April (7.45pm face off).
They then play Sheffield Scimitars away on Saturday 1st May – before hosting the same team at home on Sunday 2nd May at Planet Ice Widnes – 1.30pm face off.