The Smith Recycling MK Lightning are delighted to announce the signing of vastly experienced British forward Ashley Tait on a short term basis as our debut Elite League season gets underway.
Ashley is one of the most experienced British players in the game today, and brings to the Lightning significant Elite League experience which will stand us in good stead: he captained the Coventry Blaze for eight seasons and has acted as Alternate Captain at Sheffield Steelers in one of his four seasons with them. He also played 174 fixtures for Nottingham Panthers in the former BHL.
Ashley has also represented Great Britain in no fewer than 100 senior appearances, in addition to call ups at both U18 and U20 levels – all of this experience together will be a massive benefit to Head Coach Pete Russell’s side as they look to start their first Elite League campaign this weekend – with an opening fixture against current champions Cardiff Devils, then a first home league fixture against last season’s runners up, the Belfast Giants (5.30pm Sunday 10 Sept).
Coach Russell explained the reason for securing Tait’s signature: “As I’m sure most people are aware, we have some injury issues and at this stage, the last thing we want to do is add more workload on to the remaining group in the locker room. So to be able to add Ash is just great for us. He is a legend in British hockey.
“I’ve known Ash for a long time and he’s an honest player, good skill set and with a great hockey mind. He has huge experience and great leadership qualities.
“We’ve had a great pre-season but we’ve hit a few injury troubles. Lots of teams have the same issue so I’m not going to moan – I know our luck will turn, and I’m delighted to add such an experienced player in the shape of Ashley Tait to our line up on a short term deal to help us through this. A huge thanks goes to Monica and Graham for making this happen and their full understanding of the situation right now.”
Tait commented on joining Lightning ,”I am delighted to be playing again, and in Milton Keynes! When Pete contacted me I didn’t hesitate.
“It’s a really exciting time for the club and it’s a great honour to be given the opportunity to be a part of it all. They have a great rink and fans so I just can’t wait to get going now.”
Lightning start their Elite League season away on Saturday against the Cardiff Devils then in front of their home fans at 5.30pm on Sunday with a clash against the Belfast Giants. Tickets are available now in person from the Planet Ice box office, or by calling 01908 540020 or by going online 24 hours a day at mk-lightning.co.uk/tickets