Brian Worrall interview

Friday, 29th August 2003

Born and raised in Manchester, twenty-year old Brian Worrall was first attracted to roller hockey but very soon made sure he had a pair of ice skates as well as roller blades. “I’d been playing roller hockey for about a year and was really enjoying it. One night I went to watch the Storm play in the Arena and ice hockey grabbed me. I decided almost right there and then that I wanted to try my luck on ice and so I went for a trial with the Jets team at Altrincham and made the team.”

Irrespective of the code of hockey, Brian is in no doubt as to what attracted him to the game, and the ice version in particular. “The speed, the passion and intensity required to play the game (at any level). It’s a great team sport - no matter what, you know your teammates will always have your back - on and off the ice. We stick together through thick and thin and that’s what makes this sport so good to play and be a part of.”

Being part of a team set-up is crucial in such a demanding sport and Brian relates last season with the Altrincham Aces as defining that mind-set and attitude. “I know everyone who played on the Aces squad will agree with me when I say, last year was awesome. We really bonded as a group, both on and off the ice. The fact that our rink was closing and we might all go different ways actually brought us together and although we lost the playoff final to Basingstoke, we know we were winners – we were a team.”

And having been part of that Aces team, Brian is quick to point out that as such, there were many influences upon him and his development. “I can’t single out one person, it just would not be fair. Greg (Allen), Nipper (Paul Bayliss) and Shep (Dave Shepherd) all gave us 110% as coaches and my teammates, particularly Simon (Mills), Jason (Hewitt) and Danny (Higgins), were tremendous supportive throughout.”

Looking at the game from a wider perspective, we asked Brian which players he felt had impressed him the most. “The best I’ve seen over here was Kelly Askew, I thought he was awesome. His speed and skating style was phenomenal to watch. As for the NHL, to me it’s not even up for debate – Peter Forsberg, without a doubt. His game lacks nothing.”

Having become a part of the local contingent on the Phoenix roster, the final question is what does he expect for himself and he modestly commented, “To train and play at a decent level… anything else is a bonus.”