Growing up I was fascinated by Ice Hockey, it was something that struck a chord in me and a sport I immediately fell in love with.
Like a lot of kids in 80s England however, I found myself without actual Ice to play on. As the years went by however a new craze emerged, inline hockey.
I was recently lucky enough to talk with the Salford Lions inline hockey team.
Why don’t you tell me a little about the club, where you’re based, how long you’ve been a team, when you play and what league do you play in
We have 2 bases. The senior team trains out of Atherton Roller rink on a Thursday night. Our other base is at Ardwick sports hall which is where our Junior team trains on a Saturday Morning.
Is the game as hard hitting as conventional hockey? Is there fighting and hard checking?
Inline hockey is by a rule a none contact sport but there is often contact due to the speed of the sport and the odd fight breaks out in games to, Unlike ice hockey where a player will get 5 minute for fighting in inline you are given game and maybe more depending on the type of fight.
Does inline hockey play any different? Are the periods the same length etc?
Yes inline hockey is played different to Ice hockey as rather than having 5 vs 5 inline is 4vs 4, Depending on the league there is no offside rule or if there is an offside rule it tends to be the halfway line rather than the blue line like in Ice hockey.
Games can also be shorter depending on the league and age group you play in. Our senior team plays in 2 x 20 minute periods and our juniors have 2x 15 minute periods.
Who are some of your favourite players, who would you have loved to play against/play with?
For me I have always been an Ice Hockey fan rather than follow Inline hockey but over the last few years I have had help from 2 former Team GB player Karl Niamatali and Phil Hamer as they helped with some of our training sessions in the past.
How did you get into playing hockey? Was it something you fell in love with at an early age or did you just turn up and have a go?
I started to play hockey when I was about 12 as I had moved to a different part of Manchester and my new group of friends had started playing it on the street so I put on somekeeper gear as I played in this position in football and I was hooked.
What’s the greatest moment in club history?
For me the greatest moment has to be when our Junior team played its 1st game and also won in the North West League last year as this has been my goal for the last few years to build and grow the club and sport at a junior level.
Who has been at the club the longest?
I have been at the club the longest in the current format but we have one of the original Salford lions players Jay Perry who came to play for us last season. Jay was one of theoriginal players who played for the team when it started out as a University team team.
Do you think the sport is growing in the UK, i remember a huge boost in the 1990s?
I do think Inline/Ice Hockey is starting to grow again in the UK but it is still a lot smaller and less funded than it was in the 90. Over the last few years we have been trying to grow the sport at Junior and Senior and we have extra leagues that have been started in Manchester, Market Drayton and Wales but there are also some on the original leagues around in Rotherham and Sheffield.
Does anyone have any strange pregame rituals? Any superstitions they believe?
Not that I am aware of but my Junior team have gotten into seeing who can create the best design on there stick tape for a game day!
Now this is the most important part of the interview, the part where the biggest hockey players shake in their boots, this is where I ask the burning question that is on everybody’s lips… Who is your favourite Spice Girl?
Hmmm that’s a tricky one as but think ide have to go with baby spice.
Do you have a merchandise store?
We do have a store on our website http://www.salfordlions.co.uk/store/ where we have our Jersey’s, Pants, Socks, Jumpers, Keyrings and window stickers for sale.
Thank you very much for this, I’d love to come and watch you all play one day and even grab a jersey if they’re available!
If you would like a jersey we would be happy to put an put an order in for you!
Absolutely, sign me up!
The Salford Lions have all kinds of social media and if you would like to get in touch to know more about the club their details are down below.
Twitter – @lions_IHT
Facebook – LionsIHT
YouTube – Lions IHT
Senior Instagram -salfordlionsseniors Jnr Instragram- salfordlionsjuniors
Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us today, I wish you all the best!