VIPERS lynchpin Jerramie Domish has confirmed he will not return to the cash-strapped Newcastle club for next season.
Even fighting to find sponsorship to help raise funds so the club could stump up the cash for a new deal, Domish eventually had to admit defeat – and now he will seek employment elsewhere.
The gritty American defenceman joined the Vipers last close season to little acclaim, but has quickly become a firm fans’ favourite.
But now the club have hit tough trading times, they are unable to retain the services of one of their key performers. After the blow of moving to Whitley Bay for next term, now the Vipers will have to make do without one of their most consistent stars of the season.
The Journal understands the Vipers are making good progress on their moves to bring in a new coach, but for now the optimistic mood has been tempered by Domish’s enforced departure.
Admitting leaving the North East for good will be a tug, Domish said he had little option but to move on.
“I previously said publicly that I’d like to have returned to Tyneside,” he explained. “But the club and my agent have been totally honest with me and said taking into account the money on offer from elsewhere and the team they’re looking to put together next season, it was best I moved on.
“It’s been an extremely difficult decision as Newcastle has been the best city I have played in during my career and it’s somewhere I have felt very settled in.
“I’d like to thank all the superb Vipers fans and the friends I have made, for their support during my six months here. However, I am not ruling out a return to the club as I’ve already told them I’d like to return further down the line.”
Gutted Vipers general manager Jaimie Longmuir praised Domish’s never-say-die attitude in working behind the scenes to try to create a second season at the club for himself.
“Jerramie came to us pretty much unknown last summer and many were questioning the signing,” he said, “but we’d done our homework and we knew the player we were getting.
“Jerramie has been a major positive for us in his time here, he’s been professional on and off the ice and led the team through some difficult times.
“We wish Jerramie all the best for the future with his new club.”