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Morgs building his team

We announced earlier that Ben Morgan is back as our player coach for the 2020/21 season and as he had lots to share, we have a further update from him, including details of the full coaching set up the Dogs will have for next season.

Morgs explained some of his personal learns from last season;

“It was another season that developed me as a coach and I thought we saw a slight change to the identity of the team but that was always going to happen with the amount of changes we made but the returning players will know what the blueprint is, what style of hockey we’ll play and how we’ll play against different teams and in other rinks. We are going to be a fast skating team playing free flowing hockey. But we are also going to be resilient in defence - that’s the biggest thing we are going to tighten up on this year.

“We did well on penalty minutes but it is a column I’d like to tighten up on a little this season as the onus on special teams is massive in this league. If you have some firepower you are going to create chances on power plays, you also have to be ruthless and disciplined on the PK. If you are, then you stand every single chance. For us last year, when we managed to turn those games around when it looked like we weren’t going to get anything out of it, the special teams played a massive part of it. The coming season will be very, very challenging; we could have the biggest budget, the smallest budget, most experienced team, least experienced team - but any team can beat any other team in this league”.

Once again, Ben will not be the only coach with the club;

“Greg Wood is returning as part of the coaching set up with me this season. Woody is a long-standing friend, a role model and a mentor to me. It might say head coach against my name but he is someone who I have learned from. We have discussions, debates - sometimes we agree and other times we give an eye opener to each other which you need to keep on questioning each other’s principles, morals and decision making. We keep each other honest and he always gives me an honest opinion himself on anything that he sees or feels needs to be talked about.

“To improve the set up further, we also will have a player/assistant coach that we’ll be announcing soon. He will work closely with Woody on the forwards and attacking systems and plays. This will allow me to work more on the defensive side of things in training, not just the defenders but the team defence. This relieves a little bit of the pressure from me but it’s also another way of showing the team that we are all in this together. Everyone has an opinion and if we work together, we have a better chance of being successful”.

Last but definitely not least, Morgs reflected on what is important to him;

“It’s still at the heart of the club’s ambitions to provide that pathway for development and whether that means them aspiring to play in our league for many, many years or maybe even beyond, we’ve got to give them the opportunity. I think last season we were able to showcase a number of players with exceptional talent at a young age, at different levels and different points in their careers and it’s only a positive thing as a club that we are driving forward and as a club and a city we are still churning out really good, promising hockey players”.

Welcome back to Ben – and to Greg Wood.

We will check in with Woody soon and will reveal the identity of the new player/assistant coach within the next few days.

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Roger Williams

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