Daniella West is a passionate fan of Guildford hockey. She supports both the men’s EPIHL team in the Flames and the Lightning, the Guildford women’s team. As the first person to give me a perspective on what women’s hockey is like outside of the Canadian and American national teams, I was eager to listen to what she had to say.
March Hockey: Where are you located and how did you get into hockey?
Daniella West: I am just outside Woking in the United Kingdom. Where I live is just a few minutes drive from my local ice rink. I got into it by games being advertised on my local radio station, 96.4 Eagle Radio.
MH: What makes you a passionate fan of both the Guildford Flames and Guildford Lightning?
DW:I started watching the Flames in 2006 and then I heard about the Lightning about 2 and a half years ago after talking to someone who used to play for them. I support them all the time and like to know how they are doing when playing away from home.
MH: Who’s one player on the Flames to look out for and why?
DW:There’s a lot of good players on the team to choose from but I will go for captain David Longstaff as he is just as good as a non-British trained player. Plus he’s the only player to play for the Great Britain national team over 100 times.
MH: Does the women’s team, the Guildford Lightning get enough support? How is the women’s league looked at?
DW:The women’s team doesn’t get much support unfortunately. To help promote them and to get more people along, I have my own blog for them called Strike The Puck. The web address is http://strikethepuck.wordpress.com.
Here in the UK, women’s and junior leagues mainly get support from the players families and friends.It would be great to see more people support the women and the juniors because with juniors, they’re the seniors of the future. The women and the juniors are just as good as watching the senior men.
The women’s league the Lightning play in, Women’s Premier League, has seen good players play in it such as Louise Adams, Louisa Durnell, Nicole Jackson, Chrissy Newman, Monica Petrosino, Jordan Wilshire and Chelsea MacKenzie to name a few.
MH: Who’s one player on the Lightning to look for and why?
DW: The’re are a lot of good players but will go with Jordan Wilshire as she is a very talented player and last season (2012-2013) she had scored 2 hat-tricks in 2 different games.
MH: How do you think the Flames upcoming season will turn out and why?
DW:As they only have signed 1 brand new player to the team, Marcus Kristoffersson, as well as Tom Duggan who is coming back to the team from 3 years with Manchester Phoenix as replacements for Nathan Rempel and Scott Greenfield, I think the Flames can push for the treble as they’ve made minimum changes. I think with that, a team can be successful and other teams should do the same if they want to be successful. The Flames actually won the league and cup 2 years in a row for going down the minimum changes route.
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