Wilson calls time on his playing career

ROB Wilson will oversee Newcastle Vipers’ Elite League campaign from the bench after the Canadian last night called time on his playing career.

ROB Wilson will oversee Newcastle Vipers’ Elite League campaign from the bench after the Canadian last night called time on his playing career.

And the 39-year-old is confident that his decision to concentrate on his coaching duties will prove beneficial to his team having set his sights on masterminding a successful season at the Metro Radio Arena.

Having admitted that his role as the club’s player-coach had left him ‘tired and overworked’, Wilson is adamant his recent recruitment drive means he is no longer needed on the ice. The Vipers’ summer signings are already in double figures, with further additions expected.

“I’ve come to the decision to retire,” confirmed Wilson, whose new-look side will open their latest Elite League campaign next month. “I’m going to spend next season on the bench so I can concentrate on the coaching.

“Last season, I found myself watching videos after playing to see where we were going wrong. But now, I can make instant decisions during games and prevent defeats. If I can see it happening I can do more about it.

“This will be much more beneficial to the team and won’t leave me feeling tired and overworked.” Wilson has appointed David Longstaff as the club’s captain for the forthcoming campaign and a coach determined to steer his side to an improved season next time out has warned Newcastle’s opponents that their approach will be much different in 2007-08.

“We’ll be a lot more offensive and the fans can expect a lot more speed, goals and entertainment,” he added. “We will be a lot more attacking and quick on the break. In the past, I’ve always been more defensive-minded, but it will change this year. It will be a lot more explosive, but we’ll still be physical like we have been in previous years.”

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