Annetts unfazed by goalie rivalryBy Adam Lee
July 19, 2012
Bracknell Bees netminder Tom Annetts remains unconcerned by the rivalry he and Carl Ambler face to become first choice goalie at the Hive.
Instead, the 25-year-old former Guildford Flames and Basingstoke Bison man believes the pair push each other to reach higher levels of performance.
And without Ambler breathing down his neck, and vica versa, Annetts believes complacency would soon set in between the pipes for Bees.
Both netminders finished the season with 90-per-cent save rates, and coach Gareth Cox was eager to tie them down for another season at the Hive.
“I never wanted to leave Bracknell, it was just a case of whether they wanted me back,” said Annetts.
“I didn’t ask for any assurances from Gareth.
“I know that me and Carl are fighting it out for that spot and it is good that you don’t know what is going to happen and who is going to play from week to week.
“If one of us was guaranteed a spot it could breed complacency and it’s a good rivalry that also builds each others’ confidence.”
Having missed large parts of the 2011/12 season due to a mixture of injuries and the birth of his first son, Annetts is looking to find more consistency in the Bees jersey this time around.
He gave the fans a glimpse of just what he is capable of with a stunning string of displays after returning from concussion suffered against Guildford on December 27.
Annetts was instrumental in a fine run of form during February, and he wants to replicate that on a regular basis when the new season gets underway in September.
And by keeping a core of players from last season at the club, as well as making a number of new signings, Annetts is determined to see Bees end their run of three seasons without play-off hockey.
“I came back (after the concussion) and wanted to prove that I could play and I wanted to help the team get to the play-offs,” he said.
“Hopefully this season we will get there.
“Staying injury free is a big goal for me.
“I want to be more consistent as well – not letting silly mistakes happen and keeping focused throughout the 60 minutes, or 65 if it goes to over-time.
“The league is getting stronger and stronger each year and we have to as well, so I’ve been really impressed with the signings.
“Sam Oakford is a great friend and was also an usher at my wedding. He’s probably one of the best young British Dmen out there.
“I’ve played with Ollie Bronniman at Basingstoke and Guildford, and some of the things he can do can potentially make a goalie look ridiculous.
“It’s also good to have kept so many players from last year.
“We were like a big family last season, probably the best room I have ever been in and we have kept the main core of those guys together.
“We know how each other plays and what we expect of each other too.
“I’m 100-per-cent sure we will make it to the play-offs.
“We have got a lot to prove after the last three seasons of not making it.
“We were close last year, but this year we will be right in the mix and we will show everyone what we are capable of.”