Following the season ticket launch at which Doug Sheppard announce TEN players the new Bees Head Coach will this week recap on his major signing announcements from last Wednesday and we start with Shaun Thompson and Ryan Watt.
Shaun is a straight re-sign to the Bees having been a part of the squad last season. Now 30, Shaun learned his hockey on the other side of Berkshire before taking his chance 15 years ago in Basingstoke with the Elite League Bison where he played three seasons also making appearances for Great Britain at Under 18 and Under 20 level.
In 2006/07 he transferred to Bracknell where he racked up over a point a game in 41 appearances as well as 4+2 from 5 turn outs as Great Britain Under 20 Captain.
A second season in Bracknell saw him return 33 points from 39 Bees starts and it was a busy year as he also scored 1+1 in 3 Elite League appearances for Nottingham Panthers. For 2008/09 he returned to the top level with another full season in Basingstoke, moving on to Hull, also in the Elite League for 2009/10 but he finished that season back in Basingstoke in the EPIHL.
After a single season turning out for Slough Shaun then played three more seasons from the Hive including a personal best points return of 34+38 from 54 games in 2012/13.
A year’s stay at Manchester was followed by a year and a half in Basingstoke before making another return to the Hive midway through the 2016/17 season. Last year, in the Bees inaugural year in the NIHL Shaun scored at exactly 2 points a game through the league campaign.
Head Coach Doug Sheppard was delighted to have captured Shaun’s signature and explained; “Shaun is a great two way centre. He can create a lot offensively with his skill and hockey IQ. Defensively he is extremely reliable in all situations.”
The second of today’s signing spotlights falls on power forward Ryan Watt. At 28 Ryan is a product of the Basingstoke junior programme but is no stranger to the Hive as he was a regular member of the 2006/07 Bees team as well as guesting for the Bison in the Elite League. The same arrangements followed the next season and by now he was finding his senior scoring touch.
A midseason swap from Bracknell to Slough saw him start an on/off spell with the Jets that saw him leave in the summer of 2012 a Play-off winner under Doug Sheppard’s coaching posting 21+29 from 47 games and returning 166 PiMs as his no nonsense style saw him play the power forward role.
Injury cruely curtailed his Elite League season with Brahead Clan the following year at just 23 games but not before he scored 3 times and accrued 68 PiMs.
In 2013/14 he split the year between Slough and Swindon before a second spell at Bracknell in 2014/15. That was a dry year for Ryan with 0+12 from 37 starts combined with Basingstoke Bison but he returned to Hampshire for 2015/16 where he re-found his scoring touch.
He finished his EPL tenure in Hull with the Pirates before joining Streatham in the NIHL where he returned over a point a game last year and now starts his third spell in Bracknell in the 2018/19 season.
Having attracted Ryan to his team Doug Sheppard commented; “Ryan has great leadership qualities, can play a number of different styles with his offensive skill level and physical presence on the ice.”
Shaun stands at 5’9 and weighs 209lbs. He shoots right handed. Ryan stands at 5’11 and weighs 176lbs and also shoots right handed. Both players are available for Own and Loan and Corporate Sponsorship.
Doug Sheppard concluded on his two signings; “We’re expecting both of them to play a huge roll in the team this year.”