The Baird brothers join up
In a week of recapping Bees Head Coach Doug Sheppard turns his attention to two more of his announcements made at last week’s season ticket launch night by officially confirming the signings of Joe and Brendan Baird. The brothers will patrol the Bees blue for 2018/19.
Older brother Joe is a seasoned campaigner with more than 600 EPL games under his belt before a highly successful first season in the NIHL.
Joe made his first senior appearance in Basingstoke 24 years ago and in 1996/97 represented Great Britain for the first time at Under 18 level. A year later he played again internationally for the GB Under 18s and Under 20s while settling into the BNL at the same time with Basingstoke Bison. After a spell with the Wightlink Raiders Joe made his first appearance at the Hive for the Bees in 2005/06 completing four full seasons including guest appearances for the Bison who’d, by then, moved to the Elite League.
Four years at the Hive were followed by four years in Wiltshire with the Swindon Wildcats before five years at the Basingstoke Bison that saw him collect a league title, cup and play-off double in the EPL years and a league, southern play-offs and national play-offs treble last season.
Doug Sheppard said of his signing; “Joe brings a wealth of experience. He’s another guy who’s familiar with Bracknell having played four seasons here. He’s won silverware and is intending to come in and win more Silverware with the Bees. I have complete confidence to leave him in charge back there of the D core.”
The second of today’s announcements is the younger Baird brother Brendan.
22 year old Brendan is a stay at home defenceman who can play a variety of styles of hockey. It was in Bracknell where he learned his trade and made his Bees debut in 2013/14. He played a season with Doug at Basingstoke in 2014/15 before moving to Wightlink where he put up 1+14 in 35 games.
After re-signing for Wightlink in 16/17 he made only 4 appearances before the closure of the rink forced him to return to the mainland where he was picked up by Oxford City Stars. Continuing the 16/17 season with the Stars his defensive work was coupled with almost a point per game.
In 2017/18 he was back with his former Wightlink coach Jeremy Cornish turning out for the Streatham Redhawks. He played a solid defensive game bringing his development to fruition with skilled defence, good first offensive moves and the ability to play physical.
Doug Sheppard commented on his second Baird addition; “Brendan is a young rugged D-man who’s style is exactly what I like in that position. He plays a tough physical style, he clears the front of the net and plays the game with a controlled edge.”
Doug finished by adding; “You always talk about building a team from the back out and we’ve got a great start to our d-core to play in front of our goalies Skinns and Milton.”
Joe Baird is 5’9 and weighs 187lbs. Brendan is 5’9 and weighs 181lbs. Both players shoot right handed and both will be available for Own and Loan and Corporate Player Sponsorship.