5 NIHL 1 north and south teams that could win silverware next season.

1 - Blackburn Hawks

Okay, so the first entry might come as a surprise. I suspect I will be laughed at for this one! But the amazing work being done at the Hawks has largely gone unnoticed. 

A clear pathway for progress to the EIHL with Manchester Storm is sure to attract younger players looking to prove themselves and earn a contract with a team in a bigger league. 

A mixture of younger and more experienced players is starting to bear fruit. Despite the lack of wins this season, Blackburn have proved to be highly competitive in nearly all games played, excluding a few games against the Stars and Sharks. Perhaps it is fair to suggest that the more cohesion this team develops the harder they will be to beat.

2 - Billingham Stars

This one is a little more obvious. As a team, the Billingham Stars have come on leaps and bounds in the past few seasons. An upturn in form has meant that Billingham Stars haven’t lost a game in regulation time since January.  Culminating in the team matching the omnipotent Solway Sharks in the Moralee Cup final only last weekend, only to lose out on penalties.

The main reason for this success appears to be down to the direction the management has taken. With team captain, Michael Elder taking on a player/coaching role his influence both on and off the ice seems to be paying off. 

Experienced players such as Chris Sykes, James Moss and Michael Elder blend well with young up and coming players like Fin Bradon and Tom Brown. This mixture suggests that perhaps the Star maybe a team to watch next season. The question is, with teams from the NIHL National league undoubtably sniffing round, can Billingham keep hold of these youngsters?

3 - Streatham Redhawks

With the extra expenses connected to a team playing in London, it is incredible to see Streatham Redhawks continually succeeding at this level of the pyramid. With budgets stretched greatly due to rent cost, play accommodation etc, the results are testament to the great work done by the coaches and management.

This season, the Redhawks have been particularly successful, recording only one loss in the league to the Solent Devils on the 6th November. It is only natural to assume that this fantastic form will continue into next season. 

With Streatham eyeing success in every competition it plays in. It seems only natural that players would be interested in playing for Streatham. Combine the attraction of success in the league with the prospect of playing in one of the most vibrant cities on the planet and you have a winning combination that will keep the Redhawks as one of the favourites for Silverware for seasons to come.

4 - Solent Devils

Much like the Streatham Redhawks, the Solent Devils have enjoyed a successful season. With only 5 losses in the league. A win against the highflying Redhawks also helped the Devils to gain momentum in the opening stages of the season.

Like many of the teams in this list, an effective blend of youth and experience helps to push this team onward. It can only be expected that next season will only be bigger and better. Perhaps there would be an expectation for the Devils to push the Streatham Redhawks for 1st place in the league.

5 - Solway Sharks

Possibly the most obvious team on this list. Putting a £10 on Solway to win silverware next season, is probably safer than putting it in the bank (I’m not giving investment advice.)

Head Coach, Martin Grubb has been overseeing this teams development for years, ensuring that youngsters get the opportunity to replace more experienced players as they move on, either retiring or heading to bigger teams such as Glasgow Clan in the EIHL(players like Liam Stenton).

Stability appears to be the obvious cause for success for the Sharks, with the team ethos being centred around developing the youngsters and giving them time to root into the team.

So, there you have 5 teams that we believe could win silverware next season!

What do you think? Have we missed anyone out? Let us know in the comments!! 🙂 

2 thoughts on “5 NIHL 1 north and south teams that could win silverware next season.”

  1. Intetesting readd. Personally think Hawks are a season further away from flourishing but the foundations are there..
    Stars very much improved since Xmas.
    Redhawks are always going to be in the mix.
    Devils are looking like the Southern Billi.
    Sharks? As a fan i would hope are not in that league BUT only if the club desire and know they can afford to (the team to me are more important, than where they play)..team comes 1st…..and that is assuming it becomes a TRUE NATIONAL League

    1. Fair points well made Dave!

      I agree, I would love to see them move on. I actually think a move up would benefit everhyone, Sharks, the National League, the NIHL 1 North and other teams. These results are not sustainable really. Rugby scores don’t help to develop the league.

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