Veteran defenceman Ross Green will return for his 11th season in Milton Keynes as Lewis Clifford’s seventh signing for the 2018-19 NIHL South season.
The Milton Keynes native broke into the MK Lightning lineup in the 2008 EPL playoffs aged 16 and went on to play 388 games in an MKL jersey before joining Thunder in 2016.
“I’m really happy to be returning for the 2018-19 season,” Green said. “I enjoyed the challenge that last year brought with the ex-EPL teams joining the league.
“I know Cliff is putting together a great team with a good mix of youth and experience which will be competitive next season.”
Returning second-year head coach Clifford shared many seasons with the 26-year-old in his role as Assistant Coach with MK Lightning and is happy to have Green back for 2018-19.
“Players like Ross are the foundation and backbone of this team,” Clifford said. “I never even considered not having him on my team, so I’m glad I was able to get him back for another season.
“Ross is a massive part of everything we do here, he’s a solid D man with great skating ability, and he is always in top shape, he cares for the team and the jersey and he wants to do his best for the club every time he steps on the ice.
Ross has a lot of experience, he’s been around for a long time, not because he’s old but because he started playing senior hockey when he was a very young man, that experience helps him to take other youngsters under his wing and help them to make the transition to playing senior hockey the right way.
“I want to see the best version of Ross every night, when he’s on his game he’s up there with the best D men in the league and I have every faith that he will bring that ability to the rink every night and help us to win hockey games.”
Green himself is excited for his third consecutive season with Thunder and fourth overall and has seen the club grow in stature and progress from the third tier to the second division.
The D-man made 29 league appearances last season recording eight points alongside some young teammates who he’s looking forward to seeing in larger roles this campaign.
“I’m expecting to see some big performances from the likes of Rio, Lordy, and Stratty who gained a lot of experience from playing in the league and playing under Cliff last year,” Green said.
“It’s been great to see the crowds steadily increasing as the season progressed. It makes such a difference to the team’s performance on the ice to have the crowd behind you. I know the back room staff have been working hard behind the scenes and hopefully our fan base will carry on growing.”