SAM ZAJAC believes the capture of Miles Finney gives his Leeds Chiefs team the best netminding partnership heading into the inaugural NIHL National campaign.
The 25-year-old will team up once again with highly-rated Sam Gospel – already announced as the Chiefs’ No 1 goalie for the 2019-20 season – renewing a relationship that first came together when the pair played roller hockey in their younger years.
Finney’s switch to the ice came quite recently, with his first sustainted taste of action coming for Nottingham Lions last season in a difficult North One campaign for the East Midlands club.
But Chiefs’ player-coach Zajac has seen enough to convince him that Finney is one for the future.
“Miles probably faced the most shots in the country last season but he performed admirably and showed glimpses of his quality,” said Zajac, who will lead his team out for their first-ever competitive game against Sheffield Steeldogs on Sunday, September 15 at Ice Sheffield.
“We see him as the perfect foil to Sam Gospel.
“He’s going to be given opportunities this season to test himself at the higher level, and we know that whichever goalie plays, we’re going to have a chance to win every night.
“I really think this signing secures us the best goaltending tandem in the league.”
For Finney, the opportunity to be in at the very start with the Chiefs’ made it a simple decision for him to sign, despite interest from other clubs.
“Sam was one of four coaches to contact me regarding this season,” said Finney.
It was a no brainer for me, really – a brand new rink, new team and new league. It’s a part of history and I am excited to be a part of it and I hope we can turn a few heads this season.Goaltender Miles Finney
“I saw the calibre of players he had already signed and the experience within the team.
“So it was a no brainer for me, really – a brand new rink, new team and new league.
“It’s a part of history and I am excited to be a part of it and I hope we can turn a few heads this season.”
“I’m looking forward to working with Sam (Gospel) again. We played together at roller when we were kids, so it’s going to be fun back playing with each other again.”