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Solway Sharks Launch Prospects Program for Aspiring Hockey Stars

Solway Sharks have announced the launch of their official Solway Sharks Prospects Program. This initiative is aimed at identifying and nurturing fresh talent within the Solway Sharks Junior Club, with the goal of integrating them into the National League squad for the upcoming season. The program offers these young players valuable training opportunities both on and off the ice as they prepare for potential careers as professional hockey players, ultimately aiming to secure a place in the first team.

The partnership between Solway Sharks, Solway Sharks Junior Club, and Dumfries Ice Bowl has a rich history of developing local talent and guiding them towards higher-level hockey, whether it be in the Elite League, NIHL, or representing Great Britain in junior competitions. Notable success stories include current squad members such as Liam Stenton, Scott Henderson, Stuart Kerr, Callum Hepburn, Connor Henderson, Lewis Houston, and Bari McKenzie, among others.

In line with this tradition, the ownership team consisting of John, Phil, and David was eager to formalize this development pathway and offer aspiring players a more structured and official arrangement. By doing so, they aim to provide young talent with the best possible chance of making a successful transition from junior hockey to the National League at an earlier stage in their careers.

The Solway Sharks are pleased to introduce the first group of official Solway Sharks Apprentices to the team, marking the beginning of an exciting journey for these promising players.

Sharks Head Coach, Martin Grubb commented

“I am incredibly happy we have been able to continue this development pathway and formalise a prospects program. This kind of program is vital to the future of our team and ensures we keep producing high end players and giving them this opportunity, I’m convinced we will see many more to come through the ranks. These 5 players trained with us all throughout last season with Logan Reid making the bench on one occasion and at 16 years old that’s a fantastic achievement in such a strong squad. Each of these players gives us something different to work with and our aim is to have them in and around the senior squad as much as possible allowing them to witness firsthand the commitment and effort levels it requires to be a professional while constantly learning on and off the ice.

The jump between Junior hockey and NIHL National is a significant one, so our plan is to loan these young players out on 2-way deals gaining valuable game time while still being committed to the Junior club and skating with us as much as possible. We will announce details of these in due course as it is imperative that we allow the players to get valuable game time as well as the extra training to enhance their development.”

Sharks Junior Chair, Leanne Thomson commented

“SSJIHC are delighted to see these young players continue their development with the Senior Sharks now they have been promoted. The pathway between our junior and senior clubs has been a massive part of the Solway Sharks success over the years with a large percentage of the team coming through our ranks.

When the club was promoted and the new ownership group came in we were obviously delighted for the club and its been fantastic to see that this pathway is also really important to John, Phil & David. As the introduction of the official prospect programme shows their commitment to keep producing Sharks players via the Junior Club for years to come.”

Everyone at the club is really looking forward to seeing these guys develop both as people and players in the coming years and develop into Solway Sharks players for years to come. We know they will do well, and we are excited to give the young players in the club an opportunity to aspire to be Sharks as we have lots more talent in our junior club”.

Logan Reid – Netminder – 22/23 Season GP 20 GAA 2.33, SV% 0.911, Shutouts 5

Owen Rae – Defence – 22/23 Season GP 23, G29 A 27 TP 56 Across u16 and U19 leagues

Ewan Duignan – Defence – 22/23 Season GP 29, G16 A 17 TP 33 Across u16 and U19 leagues

Bailey Thomson – Forward – 22/23 Season GP 32, G 43 A 54 TP 97 Across u16 and U19 leagues

Tomas Vyrostek – Forward – 22/23 Season GP 20, G65 A 21 TP 86 Across u16 and U19 leagues