After last Saturday's frustrating loss to Swindon I have had time to reflect and I feel it is time to step aside as one of our 4 non-British trained players and bring in a replacement that will allow me to focus full time on coaching. The 5-4 loss highlighted our inconsistency that has been present since the start of the season. At times we have played some great hockey that has seen us win some very exciting games at home but we have also struggled to find the required levels to win on the road and thus have not had any winning runs. As coach it is ultimately my responsibility to make sure there is accountability for our performances both as individuals and collectively.
I believe that by stepping behind the bench I can raise our team's accountability and add value. I also have not been 100% happy with my own performances and feel that by bringing in a younger and fresher face to our line up we can add talent and scoring punch. I have been struggling with a back/neck injury for some time and feel this is both in the best interests of the team and my own health.
Whilst it is with a tinge of sadness I will not be icing for MKL again I also feel a renewed sense of excitement that I will begin a new chapter in my own hockey career. I am incredibly proud of all the successes of MK Lightning and of being a part of it from the start. I am looking forward to focusing full time on coaching this team and helping it reach its potential. We have a fantastic group of players that I still believe can achieve something special this year.
I would like to thank both Vito and Harry for supporting me in my decision and also to Dave and the supporter's club for the help and support in being able to bring in another player.
MK Lightning's Chairman, Vito Rausa, said: "We're obviously sad to see Nick hang up his skates, but we absolutely respect his decision, which we are in complete support of. I know we'll miss him on the ice, but I have no doubt he will make us a better team from the bench.
"Nick has been a fantastic player for us and it may be that we'll see him ice again if he steps in as injury cover, but I know he wants to concentrate on coaching and is passionate about improving our overall performance on the ice. "
An announcement about the player signed to replace Nick Poole will be made shortly and posted on the Lightning's website, Facebook page (www.facebook.com/MiltonKeynesLightning) and Twitter page (www.twitter.com/MKL_Official).