Gary Stefan and Craig Moran have kept themselves busy as the Legends game gets even closer by adding another six names to the playing squad.
Aaron Connolly is the first of the Wednesday announcements. Only 21 years old, it was 8 years ago he made his debut for Invicta Dynamos but it was from Chelmsford he was spotted by Peter Russell and brought to Slough on a two way contract. The same year he also represented GB at the Under 18 World Championships. His 17 appearances, including the Premier Cup win, impressed new coach Doug Sheppard so much he signed him to a full time contract for the following season and Aaron played a big part in the Play-off winning season. Slava Koulikov was the next coach who retained Aaron for a third season at Slough which was also his second year at GB Under 20 level and in 2011/12 he wore the “C”. At the end of the season Aaron left Slough for Basingstoke and after his best points returns to date has been re-signed at the Bison. Aaron played 101 games, scoring 30+22 for 90 penalty minutes.
At the age of just 30 Christian Babbage could still play the game to this day. He was a highly skilled forward player, his speed and skill within the Slough Junior programme brought him to the attention of Joe Stefan who brought him up to the BNL in 2002 where he made his first 8 appearances. It was Warren Rost who re-signed him in the summer of 2002 for the Jets and he played his EPL games alongside his Under 19 schedule. He played a complete season in 2003/04 and the 04/05 was his last at the club. He played 69 Jets games, returning 7+7 and attracting 30 penalty minutes.
41 year old Les Millie is the next to be added to the list. Proud Scotsman Les started in 1987 with the Kirkcaldy Kestrels before moving up to the Fife Flyers. In 1992 he moved to Sheffield with the Steelers and after spells at Solihull, Coventry, Edinburgh and he came to Slough in 2007/08 where has played 28 games. A tough no nonsense player from the old school Les did the business all through his career and despite the Jets fan seeing him play his penultimate season before retiring he was always on the money and enjoyed the 2008 Play-off win at Coventry. After the 08/09 season with Blackburn “Laser Les” announced his retirement. His Jets stay was 28 games, he scored 20+15 and sat 34 penalty minutes.
Marc Long stayed at the Jets for only a season and a half but earned his place as a fans favourite in no time at all. He joined the Jets in 2002, coming in from Romford Raiders and his first 15 appearances he bagged a point per game. A free scoring forward he was retained by Warren Rost in 2002/03 and scored more than two points per game in the Jets first season in the EPIHL. As well as being a top drawer player Marc was a great guy in the dressing room and hugely popular among the Jets fans. Marc played 45 Jets games, scoring 55+43 with 146 penalty minutes.
Marc Jets in especially for the game and will bring his wife with him. Khouri was the Jets therapist during Marc’s time with the club and will break out the healing hands once more as she will tend to the players inevitable aches and strains during the legends game.
Utility player Mark Galazzi learned his hockey at Slough in the 90s and at the age of just 16 made his debut in the 1994/95 Slough Jets. From there he continued to play for the senior team while completing his junior duties in the under 16s and Under 19s. He won the B&H Plate with the Jets in 1997 and the BNL with the Jets in 1998/99. After a successful spell with his home club Mark left for Chelmsford in 2001 and later than same year signed for Guildford Flames where he played three straight seasons. He has also made 4 senior appearances for Team GB. Mark left the game in 2010 but made a return in 2011 in response to Doug Sheppard’s request and completed his career with the Jets, lifting the Play-off trophy at Coventry.
The second Jet setter of the day is Tom Wills who is busily arranging his work schedule to try and make the game. Tom was the Jets goalie between 2003/04 and 2005/06 and fitted hockey around a high pressure job in the city. A big goalie he covered the net well, moved quickly and was a good puck mover. He added an extra dimension to the Jets being able to quickly start a transition from his own stick. Tom came to the Jets following a spell at Haringey and retired early in the 2005/06 season. He catches left handed and played 32 Jets games.
The Jets Legends will be on the ice at Absolutely Ice on Saturday July 19th. The game face-off is 3pm, tickets are priced at £10 and £5 for adults and children and available from the rink reception. Money raised is going to SPICE and the Lymphoma Association. Tickets for the after party at the Copthorne Hotel are also still available from Absolutely Ice reception priced at £20. Anybody wishing to book a room at the hotel should make contact with them directly as rooms as going fast.
All the players in the game are available for sponsorship. Sponsorship costs just £20 and includes your name listed in the programme, announced in the team line up and you get your photo taken with your sponsored player. Sponsors get to choose their player in the order of the application, applications can be made by email to Mark Denholm
For further information please email Mark Denholm – firstname.lastname@example.org