The Dayshift Recruitment Bristol Pitbulls are sad to announce the departure of Olly Shone and Jack Hayes for the 2019-20 season.
Shone was one of the few remaining players who had played for the Pitbulls when they were still in Bristol, having joined the team in 2011. Since then, he has become the team’s most consistent goal scorer, leading the team in all-time goals with 182 goals. Not only does that put him forty ahead of second place, it means he average nearly a goal a game in his 201 appearances for the club.
On leaving the club, Shone said: “I’ve had a great time since joining Bristol back in 2011 and I think anyone who knows me will know that. We’ve had some great years, even without a rink. Obviously a highlight was winning the League and becoming playoff champions.
“I’ve got a lot of time for all the guys on the team, Richie, Mike, Becci, Graham and everyone else that puts in the hard work to keep the club running without the rink.
“Since the league structure has changed I’ve been deciding whether to take a step up and challenge myself. So I have decided to look for an opportunity to do that in the league above. I will still be following the scores and keeping in touch with all the lads in Bristol and would like to thank everyone that has been involved in the club, including the loyal supporters who have travelled endless miles to watch the Pitbulls! Good luck for next season lads!”
Hayes joined last season from the Bracknell Hornets and made an immediate impact on the team’s blue line. His never say die attitude won him many fans leading to the Supporters’ Club Player of the Month Award in November.
Head coach Richie Hargreaves was reflective on losing two key players. He said: “Naturally I have mixed emotions. I am sad to see both players leave as both have been a huge impact in our club, especially Olly who has been with us for most of our journey. No doubt they will leave some big holes to fill.
“But on another note, I am excited for them as well as our club. Our club, over the years, has continued to show the players that we take the time and effort to develop them. They are now getting opportunities which shows our strength as a club doing those things right.
“As a coach you also become a mentor, or maybe Dad is more like it these days, and I will do everything I can to help with players progress and give my advice when or where needed. In both Jack and Olly’s case this is something that is a step in the right direction for them and it will give them a chance to challenge themselves at a different level. Like we do with all players who leave, we always leave the door open.”
“What this means for us is that, for the players who are staying, I will be asking more from them and for them to embrace the opportunity from the holes that are left. The club is also in talks with a number of players who have shown interest in joining for the up and coming season and we are still very much in good stead to compete and push for sliverware this season.
“We wish Olly, Jack and Ozzy all he best. We hope they continue to enjoy and grow and we hope to see them in a Pitbulls jersey some day soon.”