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Young Star Commits To Blaze

Coventry Blaze have completed the signing of another of their young British stars after forward Shaun Yardley put pen to paper on a new contract with the Club.

Shaun Yardley, Coventry BlazeThe 18 year old, who picked up the 'Most Improved Player' award at the team's end of season presentation evening, has agreed a new two year contract that will see him in Blaze colours until 2003.

Yardley, who signed his first professional contract last season, had an outstanding year that ended with a superb display for the England Under 19 team that beat their Scottish counterparts during the Superleague Finals weekend.

Blaze Head Coach Paul Thompson was pleased to have another of his British stars back on board for the forthcoming British National League season:

"I think this is really good news for both the Club and for Shaun. He's still only young but we expect him to play a big part in what we are trying to build here in Coventry. If he keeps progressing like he did last season, he's got a very bright future ahead of him in the sport and with the Blaze.

"I'm certainly expecting him to be pushing for regular shifts during the next season and I'm sure he'll be a key member of our squad. He made the England Under 19 team at the end of last season and I'll be pushing him hard to try to get into the Great Britain Under 20's during the coming campaign."

Chairman of the newly formed Blaze Junior Ice Hockey Club, Grant Charman, was equally pleased to have Yardley back in the line up:

"The response to our new junior programme has been absolutely overwhelming and as it develops we hope that many of the new players will have aspirations to follow in Shaun's footsteps into the Blaze team.

"He won't be too much older than some of the people in the junior club and I'm sure that many of them will see Shaun playing for the Blaze and will have dreams of emulating what he has achieved. It's great to have him back and let's hope he inspires some future Blaze stars."

The Blaze are also delighted to have signed new and improved sponsorship contracts with Coventry based companies, Accommodate, Berkeley Financial Planning and Reynolds Press Printers who were all involved in backing the team last season. The Club have also signed a new sponsorship contract with E Brook & Son for the coming season.

Commercial Director, Mike Cowley was more than happy to see sponsors signing back up after their first taste of ice hockey at the Skydome:

"So far we've had a terrific response from the people who were on board with us last season. Just about everyone seems to have really enjoyed being part of everything and they all feel that we offered really good value for money which is great feedback to get.

"All of our sponsors play a big part in the Club and it's great news that some of them are already starting to sign up for next season. We have a large number of companies to visit over the next couple of months but if what we've heard back so far is anything to go by, there should be a lot of local businesses playing a major part in our forthcoming season."

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CWN / Sport / Ice Hockey / Coventry Blaze / 3 May 01
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