In what’s been a busy week for the new Bracknell Bees Head Coach, Doug Sheppard, he is pleased to announce that he’s captured two more signatures and re-signed two Bees players for the exciting 18/19 campaign.
The first of the today’s two announcement is local defenceman Harvey Stead. Now 22, Harvey was born in 1996 in Reading and has played for his hometown club with the exception of just one season.
Making his way through the Bracknell Junior System Harvey was an early pick for the Southwest Conference under 11s in 2005/06. In 2013/14 at the age of 17, while Captain of the Under 18 team he made his Bees debut, completing 31 games for the senior team. He was also selected to play for Great Britain Under 18 clocking up a couple of “helpers” plus 18 PiMs.
A year later Harvey played his domestic hockey solely for Bracknell Bees while his international hockey saw him progress to GB Under 20s. He tallied 6 points in 46 EPL starts for the Bees then 2015/16 saw him lace up at Swindon for a single season with another trip to a World Junior Championship where he scored 0+3 from his 4 Under 20 games
In 2016/17 Harvey was back in his hometown for the final season of the EPL where he scored his first and second senior goals as well as 14 assists. Last year he played the Bees inaugural season in NIHL1 with 32 penalty minutes coming from 29 games together with 12 vital assists.
Excited to have captured Harvey’s signature Bees Head Coach Doug Sheppard said; “I’m really looking forward to coaching Harvey. He’s got a tremendous amount of upside to his game and first caught my eye two years ago back in the EPL. The past couple of years he’s stayed a bit stagnant and I think he’s got a lot more in him to become a better player. I’m looking to get the best from him and I know it’s going to be a good year for him.
“He’s the type of defenceman I like to bring in, he can play with an edge, he’s tough to play against and also has the hockey sense to be a puck moving defenceman. He’s a Bracknell local and played all his junior hockey here so it’s important to me that the Bees retain, use and encourage this local talent.”
A proud Harvey Stead commented on his return; “I’m really excited to be in Bracknell again and playing for a top coach like Doug. He’s a coach I’ve always wanted to play for and now I get the chance to do so.
“Bracknell is my hometown team and it’s always great to play for such a special club. The fans are one of a kind and deserve some success. Last season was not good enough from myself and the team but I’m doing everything I can this summer to make sure I’m in the best condition to perform and help the team achieve its goals. It’ll be great to play with some old faces again and meet some of the new boys. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and I look forward to seeing you in September.”
The second of today’s announcements is popular goaltender Danny Milton who’ll be returning for another season. Danny started playing as a junior in Slough and also played some junior hockey in Basingstoke too. He first started playing at our Berkshire neighbours in 2003/04 before a four year spell in Basingstoke starting in 2007/08. Returning to Slough to complete his final year of Junior Development he was called up to the ENL team posting a .920 save percentage. The following year he made the line up for the EPL Jets team and would become a regular Jets team member of the next few years.
He enjoyed a brief spell as starter for the Jets in their final EPL season before injury forced him to withdraw from the line-up. The following season Danny remained at Slough and backstopped the NIHL2 Jets with a 1.50 GAA and .9446 save percentage.
Following his successful season as undisputed starter in Slough he transferred to Bracknell and played two seasons with the Hornets where he enjoyed two personally successful seasons. This brought him to the attention of the Bees for 2017/18 where he formed half of the netminding duo.
Upon signing for Bracknell new Coach Doug Sheppard moved swiftly to ensure Danny was part of his 2018/19 line-up. He explained; “I’ve had the opportunity to play and coach with Danny previously. He is a great team guy, he’s got the drive and ability to push our starting netminder but what I really like about Danny is how involved he gets with the juniors and helps out. He’s the type of player who’ll do anything for any of his team mates. I’m really excited he’s returning to the Bees this year.”
The returning Danny Milton added to his coach’s comments; “I’m glad to be back with the Bees next year! It was a bit of a disappointing end to the season last year, for the team and for myself, so I’m looking forward to getting back on track and proving what I can do. I’m looking forward to working with Doug again as I played for him at Slough, and I hope I can help bring back some trophies for the club!”
Harvey is 5’11 and weighs 187lbs. He shoots right handed. Danny stands at 6’0 and weighs 183lbs. He catches left handed. Both players’ jerseys will be available for Own and Loan as well as the players being available for Player Sponsorship with full details on these packages and season tickets being announced at our launch event on Wednesday at 7pm at Blues Smokehouse in Bracknell.