MICHAEL Crisp has the full support of Swindon Wildcats’ senior netminder Stevie Lyle, regardless of whether or not the youngster usurps the veteran between the posts this season.
Crisp has known Lyle for several years, thanks to both originating from the same area in Cardiff, and the two are friends. But the 23-year-old Crisp will be aiming to take 34-year-old Lyle’s place from him over the course of the upcoming English Premier League campaign.
Should that happen, Lyle would not hold a grudge against the man he has mentored in recent years. In fact, he would applaud another youngster progressing through the ranks.
The Great British international told Link Sport: “Michael Crisp is a local boy from Cardiff, so I’ve known him for a lot of years now, and he’s got a great attitude. He’s itching to get in there.
“He is excited, he played one or two games last year and did very well, so he has got it in him. We’ve got four teams in cup games from lower leagues in a new competition and I hope he’s going to play those games.
“That would give him the chance to prove to Ryan (Aldridge) that he is capable of carrying a hockey team for a whole season.
“He’s young and hungry, which you want. If I was a coach I would always be looking at young kids coming through like himself and try to focus and give him as much ice time as possible.
“It’s okay to be a good goalie in practice but come the games it’s a whole different situation. He has got it and he’s just waiting for his time and for me to pack my bag and shoot away.
“I think he has respect for me because as a young kid he always watched me play in Cardiff, we get on great and I understand that he wants my spot. When I was younger I always wanted the spot of the guy in front of me.
“If he does play in front of me this year, I’m sure I’ll be happy for the night off. I’m all for young kids coming through and playing.
“The junior programme is really good here and Steve (Nell) and Ryan have done a great job at that. They’ve got two academies going so it’s great. That’s what the UK needs because the older ones like myself are going to be disappearing. We need the others coming through to keep the sport thriving.”