Dragons Invest in Youth

The Aspray Chester Deeside Dragons, show commitment to nurturing young talent and are delighted to announce two exciting additions to their roster – 16-year-old goal tenders Oliver Booth and Jace Gledhill. These bright prospects underscore the Dragons’ dedication to investing in youth, fostering their growth, and crafting a future-ready squad.

Building for the Future

Amidst the club’s emphasis on youth talent, it’s crucial to acknowledge the Dragons’ resiliency and dedication to their long-term vision. Despite facing significant challenges over the past three years, including a period without an ice rink that hampered their ability to usher youth through to the senior squad, the club has never wavered in its commitment to the future.

In partnership with their commercial partner, Aura Leisure, the Dragons are diligently striving to introduce the game of ice hockey to a new generation of youngsters. Aura Leisure’s efforts in this direction have been nothing short of impressive, and the Dragons wholeheartedly support their cause. Together, they are dedicated to fostering the sport’s love amongst the community’s youth and building the Dragons of the future. This combined endeavour underlines their unyielding commitment to ensuring the club’s long-term stability and success. The club firmly maintains its dedication to professionalism and competitive play, unequivocally refuting any suggestion of reverting to recreational hockey.

Player’s comments

Despite their youth, both Booth and Gledhill have already amassed significant experience in the field. Oliver demonstrated his potential in the previous season with the under-16s and under-18s Nottingham Lions. Meanwhile, Jace held his ground with both the Manchester Storm U16s and U18s. This early exposure will undoubtedly serve them well as they embrace the challenge with the Deeside Dragons.

Thrilled about joining the team, Oliver Booth said, “I’m really grateful to Mike, Dave and everyone at The Dragons for the opportunity to sign next season. Since starting training with the team last year, I’ve been made to feel incredibly welcome and know I’m in the right place to continue my development. I can’t wait to get going.”

Equally excited, Jace Gledhill shared his sentiment, “I never dreamed that at 16 I would have the opportunity to sign for a NIHL1 team. I’m really excited at the prospect of icing for such a family-oriented club with such passionate fans. The fact that I now have the opportunity to be coached by experienced coaches in Mike and Dave Clancy, and play with committed and skilful players week in and week out, is too good an offer to miss. I intend to make the most of this opportunity, work hard and take my game to the next level!”

Coach’s comments

Dave Clancy, the Goaltending Coach for the Aspray Chester Deeside Dragons, has enthusiastically shared his thoughts on the new additions to the squad.

“I’m incredibly thrilled about Ollie’s decision to continue his player development journey with the Dragons. As a goalie with significant size, Ollie brings a strong presence to our team, backed by his experiences representing the Midlands Conference and the Nottingham Lions Ice Hockey Club.

My prior experience working with Ollie through Clancy’s Goalie Clinic, Great Britain Goalie Prospects, and the Dragon’s training sessions last season, assures me of his commitment and dedication. Ollie already fits well within our team culture, and I have no doubt he will leverage this opportunity to further his game and personal growth.

I’m genuinely looking forward to embarking on this new season with this group, and I can hardly wait to see Ollie don the Dragons jersey and bring his skills to bear on the ice.”

Dave Clancy also shared his excitement about the addition of another talented young player to the Dragons roster:

“We’re extremely delighted to welcome one of the most promising young talents in British ice hockey, Jace, into our Dragons family for the upcoming season.

Jace brings with him a wealth of experience from representing the Manchester Storm’s Junior Academy, UK Selects, England, and most recently, the Great Britain U16 boys team in Riga earlier this year.

Having coached Jace for several years through Clancy’s Goalie Clinic, at the Academy, and during senior Dragon’s training sessions last year, I know first-hand his dedication and potential. I am eager to continue working with him and our fantastic goalie group to further hone their on-ice prowess.

Building the future

The Deeside Dragons’ investment in their young players is not just commendable, but inspiring. Their commitment to providing a nurturing environment for youngsters like Booth and Gledhill, where they can flourish and evolve, is a testament to their dedication to the future of the sport.

As the Dragons continue to pave the way for the future of ice hockey, fans and critics alike eagerly anticipate the development of these young talents in the upcoming season.

Next Up for the Dragons