Roster 17/18: Mark Watson
ULTIMATE WINDOWS-sponsored Billingham Stars tonight complete their netminding duo for the coming season with the return of popular shotstopper Mark Watson.
Still just 23 years old, Mark will be pulling on a Billingham jersey for the seventh consecutive season having been a part of the Stars set-up since its inception in 2011. Mark's junior development days saw him spend time with the Vipers and at Whitley before he linked up with the Northern Stars the year before the franchise merged with the 'old' Billingham Bombers. Since then Mark has been an invaluable member of the squad and a reliable tandem with James Flavell for almost all of his Stars career. Having Mark gives the coaching team two talented goaltenders to choose from on game nights, an option that will be very important this coming season with so many matches to play.
Mark Watson season 2016-2017
- Games played: 36
- Minutes: 753
- SOG: 494
- GA: 62
- GAA: 4.94
- Save %: 87.45
- PIM: 0
Watson on signing...
"I think it's a huge step up for the league with the addition of the former EPL sides. There were already some fantastic teams and individuals in the league prior to them merging but the addition of the premier teams has really stepped it up. I definitely see it as a positive step for British ice hockey as it gives a lot of the local lads who have never had a chance to move away and play a higher standard that opportunity to play against the top teams, and also young upcoming players chances to prove themselves against the best. I think we have to approach the season as professionally as we can during preseason and be ready to turn up to that first game of the year fully fit and raring to go as we can't afford to have our foot off the gas at any stage throughout the year. I'm fully expecting the league to be that much quicker, and the overall standard raised up a level, so we need to be ready in order to compete at the top. I'm really looking forward to the overtime/penalty shots this year, I think it's a great addition and has worked well when used in cup competitions. Realistically if we gel together and build on the success of last season, I don't see any reason as to why we can't be up there as one of the top four or five teams in the league. We've got some extremely talented players on our roster, and are hard to beat, especially playing at home. If we can be consistent with our performances for the majority of the season, we should be fighting for silverware in every competition we're playing in."
Stars Media Team insiders on Watson...
"A player who has been with Stars since day one in 2011, Mark performs the toughest job in hockey - backup goalie. Though that's not strictly fair as when he's been called on with regular ice time he has put up the numbers - .934 in 2013, .923 in 2015 and .921 in the Cup winning run of 2016. Well over 6ft tall, Mark can appear ungainly in net but he does what is needed to make a save. Scary that he's only 23 having been with the team for so long, but another piece in the puzzle for the Stars and and handy goalie tandem for the new season."
"Always 100% committed to the cause and a huge team player. Mark is always there when called upon. Flashes of brilliance and the ability to bail his team out I would expect to see a lot of Mark this year with a heavier schedule, certainly in the cup competition."
Mark Watson's #21 home and away jerseys are NOW AVAILABLE for 'own and loan' sponsorship on a first come, first served basis. Email firstname.lastname@example.org stating which jersey you wish to sponsor. Sponsorship is £100 per jersey (or £180 for framing - please state if this is required).