Streatham unveil new captain

LONDON, UK – Streatham Redskins formally announced their new Captain today as Head Coach Barry Spours handed the famous ‘C’ to returning winger Joe Johnston.   The 31 year old did not ice last season, opting to spend a year travelling around Asia with his partner, however he returned this summer and was announced as signing for the Skins two months ago.

Johnston back (Rick Webb)

Johnston back (Rick Webb)

  “It’s been a challenge for me personally with my time away” admitted Johnston, who hit 23 goals and 21 assists in 2010/11.   “I had the most amazing experience of my life and coming back to hockey after all that time out was pretty daunting at first. I kept myself in reasonable shape while away and I feel good on the ice at the moment, my fitness levels are decent though still need improving and I feel sharper every time I get on the ice”   Whilst Johnston was riding elephants and dancing on the white beaches of Thailand, Streatham struggled last season to stay in the league and only avoided relegation on goal difference, thanks to a dramatic last game of the season win over Slough.   The team also moved to a brand new facility in Brixton midway through the season, so everything looks completely different from the last time Johnston iced for the Redskins. Johnston takes over the captaincy from dogged defenseman Ed Koral, who will not be icing this season after picking up a shoulder injury in March.   “I’ve always regarded playing for Streatham and pulling on a Redskins shirt one of the biggest honours in my hockey career” explained Johnston, who has skippered the team previously.   “Captaining the team has always made me extremely proud and is something I have many years’ experience in doing. I’m excited about the squad we have this year and the upcoming season. Streatham is my home, my club, and I am a Streatham fan firstly, so to wear the ‘C’ and lead the team out is a huge accolade for me and something I never take for granted”
Koral and Johnston (Iva Dlabkova)

Koral and Johnston (Iva Dlabkova)

  The new captain and the Coach will have their work cut out this season blending together a whole host of new faces to the squad as well as getting himself back into the demands of a hockey lifestyle.   “There are a lot of big personalities in the dressing room this year and I can already tell it will be an entertaining season” said Johnston, whose Uncle Jimmy also iced for the team back in the 1980’s.   “We have a great team spirit and the two warm up games have proven to be a good challenge, the results were not important really and it was a good chance for us to try and gel and get to know each other better on the ice”   “With the new faces coming in this season we will have a different mix but I think it’s vitally important to keep the ‘Streatham’ personality & traditions within the team, the things that make our club what it is and make it so special & unique as well as incorporating what the new boys are bringing to the table”   “It’s going to be about getting the right balance but we have some great lads on board this year and everyone has something different to contribute”   Streatham have always had a local core of players but have also welcomed a diverse range of players to the roster. The Redskins have players from all over the UK on their roster, icing alongside the local boys and the European imports.   “I’ve watched the Redskins since I can remember and always looked up to the great players and leaders such as Tony Goldstone, Peter Quiney, Robin Andrew & my uncle Jim of course” explained Johnston, when asked about Streatham’s long history.   “So for me to try and emulate them now is still as special as the first time I ever played for the Redskins. During the many years of playing for and progressing through the Mini-Braves, Braves, Scorpions & Bruins teams the aim was always to play for the Redskins one day”   “To have achieved that, and to have sustained it for so long, is something very special to me”
Photo by Rick Webb

Photo by Rick Webb

  Streatham warmed up for the season opener against Romford this Sunday with two challenge games against Bracknell last weekend. The Berkshire side won both games however the Redskins showed enough to suggest they will be a decent outfit this season.   “The warm up games have been great for me and I felt much more comfortable and involved as the weekend went on” explained Johnston, who got himself on the score sheet.   “I felt like I grew in to the games and got stronger and back in to the swing of things quite well. As a team I think we all did and you could see that from how strongly we finished Sunday’s game”   “I’m really enjoying it again and playing the game with a smile on my face. There’s definitely a lot more still to come from us and I’m pleased to be a part of it and help out in whatever way I can on and off the ice”   Joe Johnston will ice in the number 17 jersey for the Redskins, who have their first home game on the 9th September against Wightlink Raiders in Brixton.   Contact the author david.carr@prohockeynews.com  

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