Bowers Reveals Retirement Plans Delayed by Thunder Excitement

MK Thunder’s all-time leader in points Ross Bowers says a summer revival has led to him suiting up for another season of MK hockey this year after agreeing terms on a one-year extension with MKT Head Coach Lewis Clifford.
“To be honest I intended to retire at the end of last season,” Bowers said. “A bit of time away from the rink and a few conversations and I think I’ve found more motivation to play than I’ve had in quite a few years.
“I’m taking better care of my body and looking to prove that I can still contribute at a high level. I’m really excited to get going for another season.
“I think it’s great that Dave Fairhurst and Cliff have recruited some young talented players and I’m looking forward to helping them progress and transition into senior players as much as I can. It’s no secret that the league has improved again this season and we are going to need to be at our best to compete each night.”
Clifford was thrilled when the No. 61 confirmed he was back in the gym at DW Fitness First MK and raring to go for another assault on the top flight of English hockey.
“Ross is a massive part of this team both on and off the ice,” Clifford said. “He’s still a player who can get a big points haul in this league, in the room and around the guys he keeps things upbeat and gets the boys going.”
Bowers grew up in Milton Keynes and represented MK Storm as a youngster before impressing enough to get a rare early opportunity to play league hockey before he’d finished school.
The veteran forward skated in his 600th league game in MK colours last season and is keen to share his experience onto the next generation.
“I love playing here in Milton Keynes,” Bowers said. “I played my first senior game at 16 for the Thunder and would probably never have made the jump to higher leagues if it wasn’t for the opportunity and stepping stone that Thunder provided for me.
“I would love to see some more juniors from MK coming through the ranks and going on to represent their hometown pro teams.”
Bowers and his teammates have been working closely with DW Fitness First’s fitness and nutrition professionals this summer as part of a sponsorship that will see the DWFF logo on MKT jerseys this season.
The MK native credits the state-of-the-art facility and its staff has playing a major role in his off-ice preparations for the season ahead — which starts with a preseason game against Slough Jets at MK Arena on Saturday, Sept. 8.
“DW have been absolute first class,” Bowers said. “Not only is their gym full of every bit of equipment you can think of but they have provided us with a team fitness trainer, Matt Johnston.
“Matt takes the team through circuit training one night a week and helps the guys with any training needs. The pool, jacuzzi and steam room area will no doubt be needed on a Monday morning after a physical weekend full of games!”
Ross’ away jersey is available to sponsor on our 2018-19 Own & Loan event for £125. To register your interest in having your name/company displayed on Ross’ away shirt, and to be presented with the jersey by Ross at Awards Night 2019, email manager@mkthunder.com now.