Shropshire Star

Settled Sam Watkins is looking for Telford Tigers to make strides

Sam Watkins is hoping the Telford Tigers can continue to improve this season and build upon their semi-final showing last campaign.


The 19-year-old recently pledged his allegiance to the Shropshire side after completing his third season in senior ice hockey.

The youngster, who is the son of head coach Tom Watkins, has come through the junior ranks with the Tigers and made a real impression last campaign.

And he is hoping his side continues to develop after coming up just short last season losing to the Leeds Knights in the NIHL National League semi-final

He said: “I haven’t thought too much about the upcoming season as of yet, I think what I would like to improve from where we were at the end of last season which would be great.

“Any added success would be a bonus as well.”

“I feel settled at senior level despite it initially taking some time.

“I feel comfortable around the lads and confident in my ability when on the ice to be able to compete with anyone in the league.

“It was definitely a challenge making that step from juniors to seniors, the speed of the game is completely different which is something you have to get used to quickly.”

Watkins scored 33 points over the course of last campaign, something he says is partly down to Vladimir Luka – his Telford team-mate – while adding he is aiming to improve his speed and strength over the summer.

He continued: “Playing with Vlad (Vladimir Luka) at times is a great way to get some assists.

“He was in incredible form at the end of the season and seemed to score a hat trick every game.

“There are many different areas that I’m looking to improve still.

“If I had to be specific I’d say that I’d like to become stronger and faster which is something that I will look to do over the summer.

“As players, we really appreciate all the support the fans provided and can’t wait to see them again in the new season.

“Hopefully, they will get behind us from the first game and we can improve on last season.”