Bees add youth to the line up

Head Coach of the TSI World Bracknell Bees Doug Sheppard last night announced the signing of Josh Ealey-Newman to a full Bees contract.

Bees supporters at last night’s race night got the news first that the 21 year old Warfield born forward will wear the black, white and gold of the Bees for the rest of the season.

Josh made an early season appearance for the Bees this season registering 1+1 but his relentless work ethic impressed Doug Sheppard who now rewards the young player with a full time place.

Josh played in both the Bracknell and Slough Junior programmes breaking into the Slough NIHL2 team 5 years ago at the age of 16 where he scored an impressive 38 points from 18 games. The next season he split with Oxford (NIHL1) and Haringey (NIHL2) posting 6 points from 16 NIHL1 games and 51 points from 20 NIHL2 games.

In 2016/17 Josh played for the Bracknell Hornets and in 2017/18 put in 12 appearances with the Bees together with his Hornets games. Last season was another prolific season for Josh who posted 19+15 for the Hornets and this season he’s already recorded 6+6 in 10 starts for the Hornets to add to his Bees points from a single appearance to date.

Doug Sheppard explained his signing; “I’m delighted to be welcoming Josh into the Bees set-up for the remainder of the 2019-20 season. In the short time he has spent with us already, I can see he’s going to bring a lot of energy to our line-up.”

Speaking on joining the Bees Josh added; “I’m Keen to get started with the team and looking forward to contributing to the Bees success. Having started my hockey in Bracknell from the age of 4 this has always been an aspiration of mine. I know the passion the Bracknell fans have and that they are some of the best supporters in the league and I’m looking forward to playing in front of them. Finally I want to thank Mark, the Hornets staff and players for their support and development.”

Josh stands at 6’1 and weighs 163lbs. He shoots left handed.

Josh becomes the latest of a number of promising Bracknell juniors recruited by Doug Sheppard to the Bees roster and he explained; “Since becoming the head coach of the Bees, one of our aims has been to help push through talent from the junior system up to the rink’s senior team, in order to start building the core nucleus of a successful system.

“We want to build a place where the aim of every junior player is to one day don the famous black, white and gold jersey of the Bees and be part of the team’s success. Josh is the latest in, what I hope will be, a long list of players who will take the opportunity to be the best that they can be – a process, I’m really pleased to say, that is already underway.”

He continued outlining his hopes for talented youngsters identified and recruited to the Bees so far; “At the start of last season, we earmarked Zack Milton as a player who could make an immediate impact at the highest level available at the Hive. His commitment and dedication has been rewarded by time at the Elite League level and a call-up to the Great Britain under 20’s, of which we are all immensely proud of him for.

“So far this season, Will Stead and Luke Jackson have also taken the opportunity to increase their training and game time with the Bees – both being rewarded with regular ice-time as part of their development which will only serve them in good stead for their careers to come.

The future of the pathway is in good hands as Doug continued; “As I’ve settled into my role at the club more, we have invested time in looking deeper at the junior programme to highlight players who have the potential to become future Bees players. Callum Burr and Casey Wilson are the first on our ‘Accelerated Pathway’ – getting additional ice time with the Bees team, whilst learning the key attributes that will make them a part of our success moving forward.

“Building a club for the future is not something that happens overnight. It takes time and energy to create the right culture in order to allow success to follow. With all the foundations beginning to be laid behind the scenes across the club, we have made incredible progress so far. It is setting up a promising tomorrow for all of us involved here, one I hope our great fanbase is looking forward to being part of.”