Deeside Dragons recruitment for the new Laidler Conference season has continued apace with the signing of forward Owen Bennett from EPL double winners Telford Tigers.
The 26-year-old part-time cage fighter was cult hero for Telford last season, as they collected both the English Premier League title and British Challenge Cup
Dragons head coach Lol Paul is hoping that Bennett’s physical presence on the ice and leadership off it can help the ambitious Flintshire side make a tilt for the league tilt for the title.
He said: “Owen came to us last week and I was more than happy to offer him a chance. Straight away, I could see the potential he has.
“The effort he put in was remarkable and it showed just how much passion he has for the game. He’s got some good skills, all of which will improve with time.
“The big thing for me is that he will back up his team-mates and if necessary, help stop any physical intimidation from other teams.”
Paul also took advice from his counterpart at Telford, Tom Watkins, before making a decision on the Shropshire-born ace.
He added: “I spoke to a few people about Owen. The overwhelming opinion was that he’s one of the nicest people you could meet.
“Tom was happy to talk about Owen to me, and at Laidler Conference level, I think he could really flourish. That gave me the confidence to sign him.
“He’s got a lot of bravery as well. No matter how big his opponent is, Owen won’t back down. That is a good talent to have in this league.”
The Dragons, who were taken over by Red Hockey during the summer and are considered one of the favourites for title honours this coming season, have recruited impressively during the off-season.
A host of familiar faces have agree to return to Flintshire while import Adrian Palak, ex-Widnes Wild duo Filip Supa and Matt Wainwright have joined the ranks.
Utility player Gavin Austin is the latest player to agree to return to the Dragons, with the 25-year-old pulling on the jersey for the sixth successive season.
Paul added: “Next season will be a big test for this side, so to have guys like Gavin here will be crucial.
“He is able to fill in across the squad, which is exactly what we need.”