Whitley Warriors are delighted to announce that long-serving forward Dean Holland will return for remainder of the 2023-24 season.
34-year-old former captain Holland retired at the end of last season but missed hockey and has decided the time is right to make a return. He brings with him a wealth of experience, having previously played at both EPL and Elite League level.
Holland first embarked on his ice hockey career at Sunderland before progressing quickly to divide his ice time between Newcastle Vipers’ EIHL, ENL and Under 19s sides in 2006 which was followed by a call-up to Team GB’s Under 20s outfit at the World Junior Championships in his 2007-08 campaign. Remaining with the Vipers until the team’s demise in 2011, Holland continued to ice in the Elite League and the EPL for Dundee Stars and Telford Tigers respectively. A return to Hillheads in his 2011-12 season saw Holland record 24 goals and 16 assists in 22 league games but a move to Guildford Flames drew the forward back to the EPL for a further two seasons where he was crowned EPL champion in both league and cup competitions.
Showing his commitment to the Warriors in recent seasons, Holland was awarded the captaincy after fulfilling the role of alternate captain on his return to the club in 2014. As captain he led his side to league title success in their 2019-20 campaign and steered them to two consecutive Play Off Finals in the 20s.
“I’ve really missed hockey and being round the boys and have been thinking about coming back for a while,” Holland said yesterday. “Tony has kept in touch during the season and I now know this is the time to come back and I hope I can help the team. I’m looking forward to playing in front of our fantastic supporters again.”
Head Coach Tony Hand said, “I have been talking to Dean all season but he felt he wasn’t ready to come back. I’m delighted he has now been able to commit and believe he will add to the team.”
Holland will go straight into the roster to face Deeside Dragons at Hillheads on Sunday and will wear his traditional number 14 shirt. His shirts are available for player sponsorship immediately – go to whitleywarriors.net/store/player-sponsorship/14-dean-holland.
Welcome back, Dean!