The Widnes Wild Ladies team return to match action this Sunday 8th January with a crunch home game against the Telford Wrekin Raiders at Planet Ice Widnes, 4.15pm face off.
Telford have historically been one of the top teams in this division and the last time that the Wild women played at this level, they were locked in a 3-way battle for the top places with the Raiders and Solway Ladies for most of the season.
It is still early days in the women’s leagues and Widnes have only played 4 games out of their 16-match regular schedule so far. They currently occupy 3rd place in the WNIHL North 2 table with 3 wins out of 4 and are 1 point behind Telford, who have played the same number of games, and 4 points behind early leaders Solway who have played 2 games more.
Telford finished off the calendar year with home and away wins over Grimsby while the Wild women haven’t completed a competitive game since their win away to Leeds in mid-November.
Wild Ladies head coach Adam Lappin explained how the team have been preparing for this Sunday’s game – and who he thinks are the teams to watch this season:
“We have been training regularly and continuing with our structured programme. We, as a coaching team, have looked at the lessons identified from previous games to tailor the training needs and requirements of the team.”
“Things can move quite quickly in this league so any team can produce great results, but Solway are always strong contenders in this league, as are Whitley. Telford were tough opponents last time we played them, so we will see what they bring to the next home game.”
As with every year in British ice hockey, the Ladies team saw a number of players join their ranks for this season and the team has an exciting blend of youth and experience. Talking about the strength of the Widnes roster this season, Lappin said:
“There have been a number of new players, but also a number of returning players from previous seasons. They have settled in well and have very quickly adjusted to the team ethos and work ethic. They have each brought something to the team, and this has contributed very much to the successes we have seen in the latter part of 2022.”
“I am extremely happy with the ladies we have. Whether they are younger or more experienced players, they all contribute well to the squad as a whole. It has ensured a depth and resilience to the squad, which has in turn enabled us to take an almost full roster to every away game so far this season; a luxury I am sure most other teams do not have!”
As regards his own involvement with the Widnes Ladies team, Lappin said:
“Having been appointed as Head Coach at the start of the pre-season, on the back of a difficult stint in the Premier Division last season, it has been a real privilege to be part of our growth so far this season. From a good recruitment drive over the off season, to the four weeks of pre-season training, leading into a very positive start to this year’s campaign, the players and coaching staff have worked together well to work on set lines and flowing team hockey.
“This team is coming together very well, not just as a group of players who train and compete together, but also as an extended family. This is a very good baseline for the rest of the season and the seasons to come. I can see us in the top third this season, with a very realistic chance of a playoff place. Looking into the next season and beyond, I can see this team staying strong. That is a combination of the players, coaching staff and management committee, which contributes to the successes of the wider team. We have a good dynamic, which is only getting stronger and increasingly more fun to be a part of.”
The Wild Ladies team are at home this Sunday 8th January when they take on Telford, 4.15pm face off.
Following that, they have an away trip to face the Raiders again on 21st January and a game away in Sheffield on 29th January before their next home match, which will be against Kingston Diamonds on Sunday 5th February at Planet Ice Widnes.