ICE HOCKEY: Wildcats star Lyle plans to retire after one more year

Stevie Lyle

Stevie Lyle

First published in Sport Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy sports editor

VETERAN netminder Stevie Lyle is planning a swansong year at Swindon Wildcats as he plans to bring his illustrious playing career to end in 2015.

The former Great Britain star told the Advertiser he feels he will play for one more season before retiring and he wants that year to be at the Link Centre.

The Welshman is already looking to the next stage of his career as he will spend time this summer coaching some of the country’s up-and-coming youngsters in Slough at the Elite Junior Hockey Camp.

And while the ex-Cardiff Devil is looking to the future he has also been focusing on the present.

“I’ve been thinking since about Christmas that next season would be my last,” the 34-year-old told the Adver. “The toll it has been taking on the body is getting harder.

“I have already been in talks with Ryan (Aldridge, head coach) and I want to be here for my final year.”

The news that Lyle is ready to hang up his gloves and stick will be a huge blow for the Cats faithful, but the star netminder has one final ambition.

“I want to win something with Swindon,” he said. “I think that we are going to have pretty much the same squad as we did this year.

“Realistically we finished as high as we possibly could this year.

“We had a good start and then a bit of a dodgy November so fifth was the best we probably could have got.

“So next season it will be nice if we could have a really big year in what will probably be my last.”

Lyle has already told the GB bosses that he no longer wants to be considered for selection after he was called up for this month’s World Championships in Lithuania.

“There is a great young lad in Ben Bowns who has had a really good year with Hull (Stingrays),” Lyle said. “It is time to let these younger lads come through. These Elite League players have only got one job, where I have a job outside of hockey.

“I had a great time playing for Great Britain, but it is time for fresh blood.”

While Lyle is planning to coach the rising stars of the game, he says he is unlikely to move into senior coaching.

“I really get a kick out of coaching the younger lads,” he said. “This camp in Slough will have some of the country’s best players.

“I don’t think that I’m cut out for proper coaching, I get a kick out seeing the younger players develop.

“We will have some of EPL youngsters and Great Britain Under 18s, like Ollie Betteridge, training with us in Slough and that is something I’m really looking for too.”

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