|DMUK Widnes Wild women's netminder Stephanie Drinkwater (Photo by Geoff White)
The DMUK Widnes Wild women’s team are back in training after a short summer break and preparations are well under way for the new 2023/24 WNIHL season, which starts in October.
Last season’s coaching team of Adam Lappin, Steve Furber and Thomas Horner are back for another season and are building a competitive team roster in the hope of improving on last season’s runners up spot in Division 2 North.
Two early signings to the team are returnees Stephanie Drinkwater and Vanessa Crickmore-Clarke, who have both been with the Wild team since it relocated to Widnes from Altrincham back in 2015.
Netminder Drinkwater has played over 100 competitive games in total – some 75 for Widnes – and was a member of the Wild women’s team that won the Division 1 North league title in the 2019/20 season to add the title she won at Altrincham in 2014/15.
She played in 9 games last season and ended up with a very impressive Save Percentage of 90.34%, a Goals Against Average of 2.88 and 1 shut out.
|Vanessa Crickmore-Clarke (Photo by David Law Photography)
Crickmore-Clarke is a highly experienced attacker turned defender who won 5 league titles with the Sunderland Scorpions in her native north east and then spent 9 seasons playing at Deeside and Altrincham before the move to Widnes.
Like Drinkwater, she also won the Division 1 North title with Altrincham in 2014 and Widnes in 2020 and, in an impressive career to date, has played over 250 competitive games in total. She also played in 9 games last season, scoring 1 goal from her defensive position.
Talking about her return to the team, Vanessa said: “I am really pleased to be re-signing with the Wild again and can’t wait to get back on the ice with the team. We had a successful 22/23 season for our league team, as well as the successful growth and progression of our development players and hopefully we’ll be in for a chance of reaching out for the silverware again.”