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Ice hockey: Deeside Dragons coach Steve Fellows issues call to arms as Solihull Barons come calling

HAVING spent a long time on the road recently, Deeside Dragons player-boss Steve Fellows is calling on fans to turn out in force for their first home game of 2013 on Sunday (6.30pm).

Promotion rivals Solihull Barons will be the visitors to the Dragons’ Den at Deeside Ice Rink and Fellows wants a large, intimidating and noisy crowd to be waiting for them.

“The crowd can be like our extra man out there,” he said. “We go to other rinks and the crowd is on top of you and it makes life difficult for the visitors while lifting the home side.

“We want to create the same atmosphere at Deeside this weekend because this is a crucial game for us.”

A win against the Barons will level the series between them and make February’s away clash the decider for the head-to-head.

That could be key as the promotion race remains close in National Ice Hockey League North Two.

Fellows is hoping that Pete Founds will be fit enough to feature, giving him a fully-fit squad to choose from for the game.

“There is a part of me hoping that the Barons have over-indulged a little over Christmas,” he admitted. “But having all the lads available and ready to go is a big boost for us.

“Hopefully Pete is ready and our latest signing Jordan Bannon is on fire at the moment so hopefully people will get to see him in his best form.”

Enforcer Dave Costelloe will also be available for selection again, ensuring that Fellows has an embarrassment of riches to start the year. But there is one big decision that is occupying his thoughts this week – whether to select himself.

“I’ve been thinking about this a lot,” he said.

“We have quite a few defensive players and I have been playing third line to bring some stability at the back for those guys but I am now thinking about stepping off the ice for Sunday’s game and running things from the bench.

“Sometimes when you are playing you get caught up in your own game. I am considering whether it may benefit me and the team for this game if I step back and organise things from the bench.

“It might give me a different perspective on how we are playing and I am coming to that stage where the younger lads need to be stepping up and challenging me for my place.

“But I will think on that some more before Sunday.”