David Clarke back and joining the coaching team too

David Clarke will be back for a thirteenth season in GMB Nottingham Panthers colours in season 2016-17 and he has a new role too, joining the coaching team as a player-assistant coach.

Rick Strachan will continue to assist head coach Corey Neilson too.

Said head coach Corey Neilson : "This is a sensible and progressive move for both the club and David. He has a good hockey head on his shoulders and we've valued his input in the past but it has been put on a more formal footing for the coming campaign. Everyone has got to keep an eye on the long term future and this makes a lot of sense."

Added the 34-year-old who has scored over 350 competitive goals for the Panthers and who reached the milestone career 1000th point mark last year: "I'm excited and looking forward to a new level of challenge with this great club. As in everything it is a team effort both on and off the ice. I believe I can help with a contribution on the coaching front and I also believe I've still got a few goals in me too. Corey started his coaching career as a player-coach with the Panthers and look at the trophies we've picked up under him.

"I can't wait to get started as we look to build on last season's double success with the Challenge Cup and Play Offs crowns in Nottingham. The bar will be set very high again and I'm hoping to be able to help the club get over it. I've played,. I've been alternative captain and I've been captain, now it's a further progression.

"It is a huge opportunity for me to continue that progress and get involved in the coaching side of things too. All coaches, not least Corey, teach you lots of things along the way and I'm sure I'm going to learn even more from him when we are working together on the coaching front for the Panthers"

Hear coach Neilson talking about the return of David Clarke and his new role right now on Panthers Radio (with Xynomix). Just click on the link from the home page here at panthers.co.uk

You can catch up with David at the opening of the giant new Dunelm store in Nottingham on Wednesday June 1st when he will be on hand from 9am to meet fans alongside Paws and possibly others. See you there!