SMITH ANSWERS THE CALL

After the news that Tomas Fucik will face a 10 game ban the organisation have acted quickly to secure the services of a goalie who can give us the stability we need to continue to win. We all know that Fucik will not be eligible to play until Sunday 11th November against Murrayfield Racers, between now and then we have some crucial games, it is imperative that we keep a level head.

This is not an ideal situation for us and, although Joe Gent did an outstanding job against Solihull, we do not believe it is fair to place that much pressure on a young player. Equally, moving forward, we feel we need a goaltending team of almost equal skillset to be able to account for eventualities such as this ban or injury during crucial games. As such we have drafted in 19 year old Ash Smith as temporary cover for our starting netminder.

Once Tomas Fucik has served his ban Smith will remain with the team as part of the netminder group to Fucik. Ash is no stranger to the Hull Pirates and it will be good to have him back, however, it is important to know that Smith has continued to train with the team throughout the season. Most importantly is that this has been with, and at the request of, Tomas Fucik. The pair have a really good relationship and it should provide us with a really good, dynamic, goaltending trio.

We think you will agree that this is the right move for us to make given the situation we find ourselves in. We have always said that we want to win, in order to do that we feel that Ash will continue to give us stability in the crease until Fucik returns and then strengthen our team throughout the remainder of the season.

We spoke to Smith earlier who said:
"It's great to be back, I'm feeling great, much better than I was last year. I'm pushing myself more in games and training and hopefully we can do what we should have done last year and bring some silverware back to Hull.

It was a really tough decision to leave Nottingham, it's a great organisation and the team are a fantastic set of guys. But i couldn't ignore the situation in Hull and felt that I had unfinished business, I am completely committed to the success of the Hull Pirates and playing whatever role Jason wants from me".

Head Coach, Jason Hewitt, said:
"It’s great that we could pull Ash back to help at such short notice to cover us. He’s been in Nottingham facing a lot of shots and, to be fair, he looks better for it.

He’s straight into the fire with a big semi final tonight. However, nothing changes for us in preparation for this game he’s here to do a job and we’ll do ours In front of him".

We do not plan to appeal the ban handed out by the league, we may not like losing a netminder of Fucik's calibre at such a crucial stage of the year but we support their decision. Tomas himself says he "regrets his actions" and "would like to apologise to his teammates and the fans for allowing his frustrations to boil over".

We would ask each and every fan of the Smailes Goldie Hull Pirates to get behind Smith as he backstops your team in some crucial games which will shape the rest of our season.