LEEDS CHIEFS are delighted to announce the return of goaltender Sam Gospel for the 2020-21 NIHL National campaign.

The 26-year-old was one of the Chiefs’ standout performers in their debut season and, despite interest from elsewhere, has committed to a second campaign at Elland Road.

Gospel, who will continue to train midweek with hometown Elite League club Nottingham Panthers, is the second confirmed signing for next season, rejoining the roster alongside player-coach and defenceman Sam Zajac.

The Chiefs are planning to announce more signings in the coming days and weeks, with a mixture of new faces coming in to play alongside more familiar ones who became firm fan favourites in the team’s historic first-ever season.

“There are a lot of good British goaltenders in this league but, for me, Gossy is right up there,” said coach Zajac.

“Sam was our No 1 priority when it came to re-signing guys. He was our player of the season and he gave us a chance every night.

“We’ve spoken at length in recent weeks and we both feel that the team we are putting in place for next season is going to be a lot more competitive. He’s a young guy, a very competitive guy and, like me, somebody who wants to win.

“One of the main factors in making sure we are going to be more competitive this year was making sure that we kept him on board – I’m delighted we’ve done that.”

On his decision to return to West Yorkshire as the Chiefs’ No 1 netminder, a delighted Gospel added: “Last season we were able to show our quality and promise here and there, moreso when we finally got into our own rink.

“That was one of the main things that interested me in coming back, not only the room and having that core group of guys back, but bringing the talent in that we are doing and being able to perform to how we should on a more regular basis.

“Sam has done an excellent job in recruiting this summer and it is an exciting time to be involved with the club.”