The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild are pleased to announce that Matty Barlow is to return to the club for the forthcoming 2021/22 NIHL season.
Barlow had made 61 appearances for the Wild over two stints, scoring 14 goals, 22 assists and notching up 48 penalty minutes.
He first joined Widnes for the 2017/18 season – when he was a member of the team that won the Laidler Division Play Offs for the second time – and he came back part way into last season to boost the team that won the Moralee Cup and finished a very creditable 3rd in the league table.
At the end of the campaign, he was selected to play for the England Under 23 team and made 2 appearances in challenge games against Denmark, at Widnes and Sheffield.
Barlow played his early hockey at Manchester Phoenix and Bradford and made over 90 junior appearances at Under 16 and Under 18 level before going on to play for Bradford Bulldogs in the Laidler Division.
Despite being only 23, Barlow has a huge amount of experience, and already has some 224 competitive matches under his belt.
Talking about his return to Widnes for the new season, Matty Barlow said: “
“I’m honoured to be asked to return to Widnes after a very successful first year in Division 1. The decision to wear black and yellow again was a no brainer.”
“After coming in late last year, I feel this year I’ll be able to show what I can do from the first game of the season. After gaining experience with England U23s and training hard all summer I want to be able to make an impact on the team going forward.”
“I’m looking forward to be working with Hags and the rest of the boys again. Hopefully we can push on from last season and work toward lifting a trophy again for the best fans in the league!”
Commenting on Barlow’s return, Wild player coach Richard Haggar said: “Matty was an outstanding addition last season for us. He gave everything to the cause and got his reward playing for England U23s, which was the least that he deserved.
“He really is a guy who inspires everyone in the changing room both on and off the ice for us. He made many game changing contributions and I look forward to him taking on more responsibility this season and grabbing that opportunity by the scruff of the neck. He’s one to watch this season for us!”
Matty Barlow will wear #89. His home, away and warm up shirts will be available to “own and loan”. Full details will be announced shortly.