The Nottingham Lions are delighted to announce the signing of former Cardiff Devils and Sheffield Steelers utility man Warren Tait for the remainder of the 2014/15 NIHL Laidler D2 campaign.
Matt Bradbury shakes on the deal with Tait, after training on Thursday night.
The 33 year-old product of the Nottingham junior system, has come out of retirement to join the Lions, having last played senior hockey during the 2011/12 season, on a two-way deal, icing for the Steelers in the Elite League and Peterborough Phantoms in the EPL.
Nottingham-born Tait, who began his senior hockey career with the Panthers back in their 1995/96 campaign, also has twenty senior Great Britian caps to his name, representing his country between 2005 & 2008.
Speaking to nottinghamlions.co.uk this weekend, Warren was quick to credit another Lions veteran for his surprise return to the sport, saying:
"I hadn't had any involvement with hockey for over two years, as I've just been busy working. Then I'd laced-up to play three-on-three on the outdoor rink in Market Square over Christmas and Stuart Parker got wind of it and got me to come and have a skate with the team."
"We have a good bunch of guys and an organised set-up, what I've seen so far has been really professional and our main goal now is to win games, move up the league and just enjoy our hockey."
The signing represents something of a coup for Matt Bradbury's side, who are currently chasing a top-four finish in Laidler D2, which would secure a play off weekend spot, along with the possibility of promotion to NIHL Moralee D1 and Bradbury is under no illusions what an important asset the former Challenge Cup and EIHL Play Off champion will be to his team, saying;
"Warren is back where it all began, where he played in his junior days and having had such a great hockey career it's great to have him on board. He's been out of the game for a couple years but with us only having one game this weekend and then two weekends off, it will give him ample time to find his feet again."
"He's got a professional attitude and mind-set and he can play a bit too, so he'll be very useful on power plays, short-handers and he'll be a huge asset to the changing room."
Tait in his Steeler days, grappling with Cardiff Devils' Vezio Sacratini.
Signing a player in the twilight of his career, may raise a few eyebrows from those who are aware of Nottingham's focus on youth development and bringing through promising new talent but Bradbury knows that a few old heads can have a big impact on impressionable youngsters , as he went on to add:
"Obviously he brings a wealth of experience and that's going to be passed onto the younger guys in the team and the older ones too! The junior players coming through will learn by seeing him play during games and training and they'll have a real role model to look up to and he is keen to work and support the players as part of their development."
"I'm sure as normal we'll be scrutinised for bringing in a player of this quality, but we'd be happy for any other teams to question us about development, when they can boast seven under 18's and four under 16's training weekly with their team, it's about being the right fit for the Lions and Warren certainly is!"
Warren's full career record can be viewed by clicking here.
Tait now looks set to make his debut on Sunday evening, as the Lions face a tasty local derby clash against Midlands rivals Coventry NIHL Blaze, at the National Ice Centre (7.30pm).
Ticket details for the best value for money sporting experience in the city and beyond, are available by clicking here.
Photos courtesy of www.sheffieldsteelersihc.co.uk.