Milton Keynes junior ice hockey club product Jamie Line has re-signed with MK Thunder for the upcoming 2018-19 NIHL South 1 season.
September will kickstart the rapid middleman’s fifth consecutive season in Thunder colours having joined from Slough Jets in 2014.
“I’m really pleased to be back in MK for another season and am looking forward to getting started,” Line said. “The club has grown so much since I joined and I feel the new league setup can only add to its growth.
“I think last season went well, considering the changes to the league. We lost games that we should have won, yet exceeded ourselves in others. This season we need to be more consistent.
“I am looking forward to improving on last season’s results and competing in every game with a great group of lads.”
MKT Head Coach Lewis Clifford is delighted to have secured the services of the former Great Britain Under 18 international for another season.
“There’s not many players in our local area who can do what Liney can do,” Clifford said. “He brings a unique package of speed and skill to the lineup that would be extremely hard to replace. The overall team speed will be going up this year and Liney will be a huge part of that.
“Liney scores goals and creates things that no one else can. His change of speed and ability to ghost in behind defenders along with having a really good shot and getting the puck off his stick in a hurry means he is always a threat in offensive situations.”
Line and his coach both spoke of the importance the fast-building support for Thunder in Milton Keynes and beyond has in the club building on the foundations of a Playoffs Quarterfinals appearance last season.
“The thunder fans are really dedicated in supporting the team,” Line said. “This creates a great atmosphere and has such a positive influence.”
Thunder took points off every team in NIHL South 1 a year ago despite the addition of four teams from the collapsed English Premier League and Clifford working with one of the smallest budgets in the league.
“The fan base is growing slowly but surely,” Clifford said. “And that can only have a positive impact on the players and push them forward.”
“The boys appreciated the crowds we had last year and were more than happy to integrate with the fans at any given opportunity to show just how much they appreciate their support.”
Line appeared in 31 league and playoffs games for MKT in 2017-18. The Toddington native racked up 23 points to trail only Ross Bowers in the team points-scoring race.
Clifford attributes a lot of Line’s successful career to the preparation and work ethic put in by the MKT No. 5. Line played 387 games in the EPL and will be aiming to score his 200th point in a Thunder jersey this coming season.
“With our team being mainly young guys and not having the budget of most of the other teams, we have to look for marginal gains wherever we can,” Clifford said. “Preparation and fitness will be key to our success this year, for both young guys and veterans.”