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Lee Valley Lions face an unknown prospect in Solent Devils

PUBLISHED: 16:00 06 October 2017

Coach George Alley on the bench (Pic: Phil Hutchinson)

Coach George Alley on the bench (Pic: Phil Hutchinson)

Archant

Lee Valley Lions George Alley admits it will be an unknown for his side as they face Solent Devils this weekend.

The Lions travel down to Gosport on Saturday (5pm face-off) and will be desperately hoping to pick up their first league points of the 2017/18 NIHL South Two season.

The Devils dropped down from the NIHL South One this off-season with all the league changes and are expected to be in and around the title race.

“We haven’t played at Gosport in a long time, I’ve been back there with the London Raiders but I don’t think any of my team have been there since they were last in the same league as us,” Alley said.

“For my players it’s a bit of an unknown but I think they’ll be very disciplined and to counter that we have to match them physically.”

Coach Alley heaped praise of how the club has moved on since last being in the NIHL Two and has even pin pointed them as dark horses this season.

“They’re a much better team than the one that went up to NIHL1 with a vastly experienced squad, and they may be disappointed with their loss to Peterborough last week.

“I still make them dark horses for the league if they can get a run of wins and top the other teams in the upper half of the league.”

The former Lions goalie believes they’re a strong outfit with many strengths, but believes his side can shut them down, and should be use to the small rink from their off-season training at the Sobell Leisure Centre.

“When I saw them in NIHL1 they were patient and made good use of their power-play opportunities, but this was when they were regularly playing against much more fancied teams.

“Obviously Drew Campbell playing in a small rink is a big goal scoring threat, we have the make sure we cut off his service from players like Alex Murray and Richard Facey.

“I do think we can turn them over.

“We should take note of our summer playing in Sobell and try to use it as an advantage, but I realise I come across as a broken record when I say we have to be ready to play from the first puck drop, not when the game is already 10 minutes in.”

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