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Lee Valley Lions bolster squad numbers

PUBLISHED: 16:07 09 September 2019 | UPDATED: 16:07 09 September 2019

Defenceman James Joseph in action last season (Pic: Phil Hutchinson)

Defenceman James Joseph in action last season (Pic: Phil Hutchinson)

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Lee Valley Lions have bolstered their squad with a number of signings in the last week including defensive stalwarts James Joseph and Simon Jones who will return to form the club's leadership team for the 2019-20 season.

Lee Valley Lions defenceman Simon Jones clearing the puck (Pic: Kim Jones)Lee Valley Lions defenceman Simon Jones clearing the puck (Pic: Kim Jones)

The duo will both be taking on the role of player-coach for the upcoming NIHL South Two campaign.

The 32-year-old Joseph has been with the Lions ever since the senior club reformed in 2005 and has now played 14 seasons, racking up 268 league appearances which makes him the club's all-time appearance leader by some distance.

In that time, the stay-at-home blueliner has scored 11 goals and added 19 assists for 30 career points.

Last season he took on the role of player-coach for the first time, leading the club to their first win in over a year as the Lions won 5-0 in Swindon.

He also managed to score six points, one goal and five assists, which was the most points and assists he had ever scored for the Lions in a single league season.

James will once again combine coach duties with patrolling the Lee Valley blueline in the 2019-20 campaign.

The Lions also announced the return of Simon Jones, who acted as the club's captain last season.

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The 32-year-old defenceman is something of an iron man, having missed a total of just five games in his four seasons in a Lions jersey.

He has racked up 84 league appearances in green and blue, notching up four goals and 18 assists for a total of 22 points.

Jones will also be a part of the club's coaching staff as a player-coach this season, as well as continuing to add defensive leadership.

The east London outfit also announced the signings of two teenage forwards Charlie Nichols and Lewis Blore.

18-year old Charlie Nichols started his junior career at Romford, before moving to Lee Valley juniors when the Romford rink closed down.

He spent two seasons with Lee Valley under-14s, playing 32 games and scoring 12 points - three goals and nine assists.

He then moved on to Slough under-15s, before playing two seasons for Chelmsford under-18s.

Nichols then spent last season at Romford under-18s, scoring 23 points including 12 goals, 11 assists in 10 games.

Welshman Lewis Blore, who has played junior hockey at both Oxford and Milton Keynes, will also be stepping up to play his first senior campaign this season.

He was an alternate captain at Milton Keynes under-18s last season, scoring 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists) in 20 games.

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