By Tom Hurley
MK Thunder are delighted to announce the signing of former Great Britain U20 international Michael Stratford.
The 20-year-old forward joins from Cardiff Fire, where the Swindon native led all players with 10 points in 14 games — including scoring against Thunder at Planet Ice in November.
The addition of Stratford bolsters head coach Lewis Cliford’s offensive ranks, while ensuring Thunder remain the only all-British team in NIHL South 1.
“I’ve never ruled out making additions to the squad,” Clifford said. “However, for me it had to tick all the boxes to make it worthwhile; and when I found out Michael was available it certainly did tick them.”
Despite his young age the Swindon-born forward is vastly experienced, having played in 129 English Premier League games between Swindon Wildcats and Manchester Phoenix, and appearing in four international tournaments with Great Britain U18s and U20s.
A prolific points scorer at junior level with Swindon and Okanagan Academy, Stratford made his EPL debut with the Wildcats while still playing U16s.
In recent seasons, the newest member of the Thunder family also featured for South West U17s and England Under 19s, in addition to racking up 36 points in 16 games with Swindon’s NIHL 2 club.
“Stratty is a young Brit with talent and size, he works hard, has a good skill set and knows where the net is,” Clifford said. “I think this could be a signing that moves us in the right direction for the remainder of the season and I am looking forward to adding him to our line-up.”
Stratford skated with his new teammates at Planet Ice Thursday night and will make his MKT debut once all paperwork is completed.
Michael will wear the No.16 shirt for Thunder, and both his home and away jerseys are now available to sponsor under our own and loan scheme.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like your name or company displayed on one of his shirts for the remainder of the 2017-18 season, before being presented with the jersey at our End of Season awards night.