Credit: Bracknell Hornets
Bracknell Hornets re-sign Matt Foord
Matt Foord has put pen to paper on a 1 year deal which will see him ice for his 13th season in Bracknell, his second with the Hornets, and once again as player-assistant coach.
The veteran Brit iced his first senior game in the 98/99 season with the BNL-winning Slough Jets team. Over the next seven seasons, Matt iced 269 times for the Jets and also iced in the EIHL for the London Racers, Nottingham Panthers and Cardiff Devils.
Foord made his first move to Bracknell, joining the Bees for part the 05/06 season following the demise of the London Racers – A season which ended in heartbreak as the MK Lightning defeated the Bees in the playoff final in Coventry. Success immediately followed for Foord and the Bees however: The very next season, Foord was part of the EPL league and playoff double winning Bees team .
From 2009-2011, Foord iced for the Swindon Wildcats but once again made the switch back to Bracknell, this time wearing the ‘A’ on his jersey.
In 2014 he was promoted to captain of the Bees – A position he held until his departure in the summer of 2018. During this time he broke the club record for most appearances, finishing his time with the Bees after playing 590 competitive games, picking up 308 points in all competitions.
He spent a single year with the Invicta Dynamos, but once again returned to the Hive last season, accepting the Player-Assistant Coach role as the club returned to NIHL 1 following the league restructure.
Despite picking up the additional coaching responsibilities, Foord picked up an impressive 31 points from 32 games before the premature end of the season due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Matt Foord: “I am extremely happy to be back as assistant coach with the Hornets for a second season. I really enjoyed last season, working with Mark has been very rewarding. I think we work well together and I can't wait to continue what we started. We have a great foundation of young players that are eager to learn and as a coach that is essential to developing British hockey.
“Last season was very encouraging to see our apprentices grow, and we developed players that were ready to take the next step in British hockey without missing a beat.
“Hopefully for the upcoming season we will have a little bit more luck with injuries, and can really make a push at winning some silverware, but our main goal is to continue to develop British hockey and the Bracknell Hornets.”
Head Coach Mark Saunders: “Having Matt return to the Hornets again for this upcoming season as player assistant coach is huge for us as a coaching unit and the team on ice; the experience he brings and his competitiveness is something all of our players looked up to last season and will do so again in our next campaign. His attention to detail with bringing on our younger players is there for them to see and this helped our apprentices develop so much last season.
“We see the game in a very similar way, hold the same core values and are both very passionate about developing hockey players in Bracknell at all ages of the club. This coupled with the leadership he brings is invaluable for what we are trying to achieve with the Hornets as a group.
“Along with the coaching side of his game he still has a player skill set that adds a huge amount to our group, which was shown last season with some huge goals in big moments, the ability to guide other players through rough patches alongside the calm and collected confidence to execute in the right way when the pressure really mounts.
“I’m delighted he’s back with the team again, and even more so that I’ll be working with him as assistant coach also. Welcome back Foordy.”