Head Coach of the Berkshire Cycles Bracknell Bees, Doug Sheppard has once again doubled up on his tally of Baird brothers as he announces the return of Joe Baird.
The experienced defenceman is no stranger to Bracknell as prior to last season he’s previously called the Hive home as well. The 39 year old will now call the Hive home in his 26th season of professional hockey.
Joe has experience at every senior level in the UK, making his debut for Basingstoke Beavers in the British Hockey League in 94/95 and in his third season in Basingstoke making his international debut for Great Britain Under 18s. He would represent the Bison in the top league at the time, the BISL before the Bison joined the BNL. Joe also played for Great Britain Under 20s during his first spell in Basingstoke.
In 2002/03 Joe left Basingstoke and started a three year association with the Isle of Wight which saw him post 47 points in the EPL. A four year spell with Bracknell Bees followed from 2005 to 2009 during which he was also called up to the top league, the EIHL, to guest for the Bison and won both the league and playoffs in black, white and gold.
A four year spell followed with the Swindon Wildcats before a five season stay in Basingstoke including being part of the treble winning Bison team of 2017/18.
Joe followed Doug to Bracknell last season and his 28 league games saw him post 3 points and pick up 46 PiMs. His vast experience and leadership made him an easy choice for Doug to return to the Bees.
Head Coach Doug Sheppard explained; “I’m delighted we’ve kept hold of Joe. Players with his knowledge, experience and leadership are rare so I’m excited he’s committed to another season at the Hive. We’ll be using Joe in a different role this season and he’ll be game managed to get the most out of him. He’s still a vital piece of our team so there is no point in exhausting him, we’ve spent a lot of time talking this summer and both agree that Joe should be a part of the team but that we should carefully monitor his workload through the season to ensure he can contribute to the maximum.”
Doug continued; “Joe is an undisputed leader within our group. He’s had either the “C” or “A” at numerous clubs throughout his career and internationally too. The players look up to his experience so with his leadership qualities unquestioned he’s decided to pass the “C” on for the upcoming season to the next generation.”
Joe Baird is 5’9 and weighs 187lbs, he shoots right handed.