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Upcoming MatchSwindon Wildcats vs MK Thunder/October 27, 2018/The Link Centre
Upcoming MatchSwindon Wildcats vs MK Thunder/October 27, 2018/The Link Centre

MK Thunder’s Lewis Clifford Secures GB Youth International Michael Stratford

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Former Great Britain youth international Michael Stratford has agreed terms with Thunder head coach Lewis Clifford to return to Milton Keynes for the upcoming 2018-19 NIHL South 1 season.

“It was a no brainer coming back to MK this year as I was so welcomed last year,” Stratford said. “What I really liked is how every single one of the boys in the room always put in 110% every shift. I just couldn’t say no to being a part of that again when Cliff asked me to come back.”
The 21-year-old scored 10 points in 15 games for Cardiff Fire at the front end of last season before making the switch to Thunder in January. Despite the midseason transfer, Stratford ended the season as the Fire’s leader in goals and points.
“I was so welcomed by everyone in MK when I arrived half way through last year,” he said. “Not just the boys, but the management and also the fans.”
Swindon-born Stratford collected four points in eight regular season games in a Thunder jersey last season before finding the back of the net during the Playoffs Quarterfinals series with Peterborough Phantoms.

“When we bought Stratty in half way though last season it gave us a lift straight away,” Clifford said. “He’s a guy who knows how to score and you can never have too many of those.”

Second-year head coach Clifford made bringing the 6-foot-4 offensive talent back to MK was one of his main priorities heading into the offseason.
“Stratty is a great kid who wants to do his best for the team every time he pulls on the jersey,” Clifford said. “That, coupled with his ability, makes him an asset I had to try and keep hold of.
“I’ve already spoken about the fact we have to make some changes to keep moving forward and evolving as a team, however Stratty was high up my ‘keep’ list and I’m delighted to have him back on board but for a whole season this time.”
Prior to signing for Thunder last season, Straford also laced his skates in the English Premier League with Swindon Wildcats and Manchester Phoenix in addition to spells with Great Britain U18s and U20s. Now the one-time Swindon and Okanagan junior will get the opportunity to focus on the challenges ahead and playing his first full season with MKT.
“Personally for me it’s just getting back playing again after having the summer off and improving as much as I can,” Stratford said. “I’m looking forward to meeting the new boys on the team and build on what we had going last year. I’m excited to pull on the jersey again and get started.”