Leeds Knights coach Ryan Aldridge on how his players are proving their quality all over ice

RYAN ALDRIDGE says Leeds Knights players are ‘buying in’ to his methods - his point being proved by his team pulling off a weekend double over NIHL National title hopefuls Milton Keynes Lightning.

By Phil Harrison
Monday, 31st January 2022, 9:56 am
Updated Tuesday, 1st February 2022, 11:34 am

Since Aldridge took over from Dave Whistle earlier this month, he has overseen a run of four wins in six games - a contrast to the one win in five preceding his arrival. It leaves the Knights in fifth spot in the table, 11 points off leaders Telford Tigers with 17 regular season games remaining.

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Aldridge singled out a number of individuals for praise after Sunday’s thumping 8-2 win over the Lightning, which came on the back of an impressive 4-2 win in Buckinghamshire the previous night.

But the Knights coach was also keen to stress the improvement across the team, particularly in their willingness to improve the defensive side of their game all over the ice.

“This is a very skilled hockey team, they are starting to buy in as a unit and I think they’ve proved that over the weekend,” said Aldridge.

“The D side of the game was phenomenal. Kieran Brown - before I came in, certain people said certain things about Kieran but I feel he’s been unbelievable for us, his back checking has been incredible.

“But then everybody’s D side has been good and, obviously, when you can play good team defence with the offensive skill level that we’ve got, it gives you chances to win hockey games.

Ryan Aldridge - Leeds Knights coach. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

“It’s about maturity and immaturity. Chilly (defenceman Jamie Chilcott) tonight, really showed that maturity in his game, I thought he was unbelievable. We get caught a little bit at times making inexperienced plays but, again, I can’t fault them this weekend because I thought they were solid for 120 minutes.”

Harry Gulliver - got his just rewards with two goals for Leeds Knights on Sunday niht at home to Milton Keynes. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Kieran Brown - enjoyed a 4+2 weekend for Leeds Knights against Milton Keynes Lightning Picture: Bruce Rollinson