Wildcats retain netminder Crisp

Michael Crisp

Michael Crisp

First published in Sport The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

MICHAEL Crisp is hoping that he will be able to gain more ice time this term after agreeing to return to Swindon Wildcats.

The Welsh netminder provided invaluable back-up to Stevie Lyle during the last term making six appearances and recorded a save percentage of .911.

With veteran netminder Lyle considering retirement at the end of the upcoming campaign this could be a big year for the 23-year-old.

However, Crisp is just staying focused on the immediate future and not the prospect of filling the shoes of a Wildcat legend.

“I just want to push my development on this year and build on last season,” Crisp told the Advertiser.

“Next year is not at front of mind, if at the end of the day I personally I need more time to develop then that is what I’ll do.”

Having made six appearances for Wildcats last season, Crisp admitted that he was surprised to have had as much game time as he did.

“The teams that I played against were top teams and I gained a lot of confidence from that,” he said.

“For me, I expected to play against the sides at the lower end of the table.

“Having had that experience is the reason why I am coming back. I’d like to try and get more ice time and I think Aldy (head coach Ryan Aldridge) will give me the opportunity to as well.”

Crisp, who averaged 2.91 goals against last season, says that former Great Britain ace Lyle has helped him with his approach to the game.

“Stevie has given me a few tips, but the main thing I take from him is how relaxed he is - nothing fazes him.

“You just look at how calm he is around the locker room and he has helped me become more relaxed as at times I can get worked up a bit.”

The former Cardiff youngster is relishing the new campaign in the EPL and has already begun training ahead of pre-season at the Link Centre.

“I started my off ice training programme some time ago back at the gym and I've been hitting the ice as often as possible recently, so things on the training front really are going to plan,” he said.

Having played a small role in helping Cats reach the play-off finals weekend, Crisp is hoping that the team will be able to go one better this term.

“I think that we can build from last season,” he said. “We had that great run of seven on the bounce in the lead up to the play-offs and hopefully we can go at least one further this time.

“I know that is going to be a big challenge as the league has definitely got even better over the summer months with some big signings being made.

“But Aldy has also strengthened the squad, so we can certainly challenge the other clubs.”

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