A few words from outgoing Chair, Andy Gordon

With outgoing TC Cars Solihull Barons Chair Andy Gordon relocating South over the Summer, he recently took time out to reflect on his time with the Barons and events over the past season.

Andy presenting Richard Crowe with his long service award at the 2019 awards (Photo : Harish Chavda / Dingle Images)

Remember last Season?

It is a long time since the last game – March 15th –  an away win against Billingham; and a home 9-0 drubbing of Nottingham the week before. It is so sad that we did not get further in the cup competition as I was looking forward to getting the better of Whitley when it mattered most.

Congratulations to Whitley – you played smart hockey to win the league (smart by Whitley standards!)

It was, in my personal opinion, a disappointing season overall on the ice. There were some highs – obviously winning the Midlands Cup and the two wins v Solway. The effort on and off the ice was great from all but too many injuries, a lack of consistency and far too many penalty points were the downsides for me.

If Whitley can play sensible hockey then so should Solihull. Referees? Yes – they were “interesting” at times but other teams maybe took advantage of them better than we did.

On injuries…the season got off to a really bad start when we lost Josh (Bruce) after 7 seasons, the last 3 seasons as our captain. Josh – thankyou for everything, you are a great player and are one that will never be forgotten. As the season progressed there were far more injuries than in recent seasons that upset the balance of the team. To the credit of all, we did not complain and just got on with it. There were also several players hiding injuries for long times and they hid this from the opposition (mostly) well.

Personally, the committee and I have been planning for over a year for me to step down at the end of last season. Janet and I have been planning to move to Dorset this year to semi-retire and although the pandemic has delayed this we will hopefully be moving later this year. The good news is that when the season gets going I may still be around and will be back down to support the Barons as I have been doing since 1990, probably wearing my Barons Christmas shirt!

Very sadly, we lost Ray Tookey recently. Ray has been supporting the Juniors and the Barons for many, many years and put in a lot of work behind the scenes raising money with his better half. Just because we knew it was coming one day did not make it easier when he passed away. Raise your glasses to Ray – literally the grandad of the Barons family. He will be remembered with a smile.

I am proud of all the team, all the off-ice team and most importantly – the supporters. What a great family. We have a great club and we will show all the others exactly what we are made of next season. We can do better – we will do better.

Thankyou all!

Drop the puck – I cannot wait!

Andy

Barons End of Season Awards – Sam Hewitt : Supporters’ Player of the Season

TC Cars Solihull Barons END OF SEASON AWARDS

SAM HEWITT

SUPPORTERS PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2019-20

After a very tight vote, the TC Cars Solihull Barons are delighted to announce that your Supporters’ Player of the Year is the man between the pipes, Sam Hewitt.

Very much the Barons number one goalie over the past season, Sam has been a Hobs Moat favourite for well over a decade. After what was arguably a career best season, it was little surprise to see Sam’s name top the poll this year. His strong performances and calmness in the crease kept the Barons in a number of games even when short benches or penalties had tilted the ice toward his net.

Sam Hewitt waits for the shot (S Crampton)

Sam himself was thrilled to pick up the award :

“Thank you to everyone who voted and I hope that all Barons fans are staying safe throughout this tough time.

“This season for me has been one of the best at Solihull, the atmosphere in the changing room has never been more positive and as a club we proved that we can compete with the top teams for silverware. Not many teams go up to Solway and Whitley Bay, and stay within 1 goal difference throughout the game, or even take the lead and manage to hold it for most of the game.

Sam Hewitt was immense all night (S Crampton)

”There have been lots of highs for me personally, however the game which stands out to me was away in Whitley Bay. We went 1-0 up very early on in the game and as a team we managed to hold the lead until the second period. At the end of the game we had faced 60+ shots, which is over double the amount of shots that we normally face.

Sam Hewitt saves and is sprayed with some very wet ice

“Even though we had our high’s, we also had our lows. I have never know a team to have so many injuries in one season. Within a matter of a weeks we went from having a full squad, to having 11 players that were fit to play. This did cost us massively in the league where we dropped valuable points against teams we needed to beat. Overall though it was a great season for us.

“Finally, thank you to all the off-ice staff who constantly work hard behind the scenes to make our jobs easier on the ice.

“I hope everyone enjoys the summer and stay safe!

A big thank-you to all of those who took part in the poll and stay tuned for more Barons news soon !!!

Barons End of Season Awards – Niklas Ottosson : Rob Eley Endeavour Award

TC Cars Solihull Barons END OF SEASON AWARDS

NIKLAS OTTOSSON

ROB ELEY ENDEAVOUR AWARD 2019-20

The TC Cars Solihull Barons are delighted to announce that this years winner of the Rob Eley Endeavour award is every Barons fan’s favourite Swede, Niklas Ottosson. Originally slated to take a year out, Niklas could not keep away from Hobs Moat and by October was lacing his up skates once more for another season where he would be the key playmaker on the Barons top forward line and pick up an average of three points a game.

Niklas Ottosson was a surprise returnee (J&K Davies)

The award is a personal award given out by Barons legend Rob Eley to the player he feels best embodies what it means to be a Baron.

Commenting on his decision Rob stated :

“Firstly I hope all the Barons’ players, staff and supporters are well and coping with the current restrictions as well as possible.

“Due to the nature of this team, there were several candidates, but one player stood out encompassing the spirit of this award.

“Niklas Ottosson is well known for his speed and high skill level throughout the league but sometimes his other attributes can be overlooked. Nik has chipped in with plenty of important goals and the number of assists speak for themselves. However his stats are only part of the story this season.

A highlight reel goal for Niklas (J&K Davies)

“Nik’s notoriety throughout the league means he gets very little time and space, with some opposition players targeting him for special treatment. He’s learnt to look after himself and had to play more physical this year. In fact Nik works as hard if not harder than anyone on the team, he leads by example and although not the captain or assistant he has shown leadership both on and off the ice.

“Nik is a natural forward but on many occasions has selflessly dropped back to play on defence to help the team, when we have been short in that department. His tireless penalty killing, blocking shots and forcing turnovers go mostly unnoticed outside of the team.

“What’s most remarkable is that he has achieved all of this whilst nursing a knee injury throughout the season. Therefore Niklas Ottosson is this season’s winner of the Endeavour award, hopefully with the early end to the season and the enforced time away from hockey, Nik can come back fitter and stronger next season.

Jared Dickensan and Niklas Ottosson battle (S Crampton)

Niklas himself was also delighted with the honour :

“I will start with saying that it is an honour to receive this award. I remember when I moved to England and signed for the Barons. The plan was to play one season over here and then move back to Sweden and now I’ve just finished my 6th season with the barons. Can’t thank everyone in and around the team enough for everything they’ve done for me here. Without them I wouldn’t have stayed here for so long. I’ve met some quality players and every year we have had a great bunch of lads.

“Hope to see you all soon.

”Stay safe!

”#91

Stay tuned over the next day or two when we finally reveal your Supporters’ Player of the 2019-29 season !!!