JONNY Price believes Knutsford’s men have given themselves every chance of playing the highest level hockey in the club’s history next season.

The Black Knights will resume matches in the new year in second position in North Hockey League West Division Two, with the gap to leaders Brooklands MU thirds reduced to two points when they defeated them in the final game of 2019.

For first-team captain Price, the message is clear over the festive period and going into 2020.

“Everyone stay fit, train hard, and we’ve got a couple of friendlies lined up in January to give us every chance to be ready for the first game back,” he said.

“From there, the call is to win every game really. Keep doing what we’ve been doing, don’t change anything.”

The Black Knights will be hoping for better fortune than last season in the second half of the campaign.

“I don’t think the club have been higher than the division we’re in now, but we’re holding our ground,” he said.

“We were close to promotion last year but availability and injuries in the second half of the season probably cost us a bit.

“But this season so far has been really good. And I think results have shown we’re right up there.

“I think the difference this year is that we’ve drawn and won games that we would have lost in the past.

“There’s a decent togetherness with the team, training’s helped and availability of players has been really good.

“It’s all made a difference for us.

“We’re second now and have closed the gap to two points on the leaders and we’ve got every chance next year.

“The aim is promotion and if we can carry on doing what we’ve been doing then we’re looking good for that.”

Having good numbers of players available has made a difference across the board, including the competition for places.

“Definitely, and it strengthens the club as well,” said Price.

“We can afford to give players to the second and third teams and they’re doing well as well.

“All round it’s going well.

“I think a couple of results we’d probably kick ourselves but in previous years we’d have lost the games we’ve drawn.

“The only loss came against Liverpool Uni, which we did last year and they seem to be a bit of a bogey team for us.

“But from that poor performance, we wiped the slate clean ahead of another tough game and got a result.”

Team picture, above: From left, back row, Max Berkeley, Jonny Price, Gary Brown, Graeme Wolfenden, Rich Saxton, Cameron Geimer, Matt Kennerley-Ryan, Dan Cooper, Jim Halling; front row, Stuart Kenyon, Tom Adams, Tom Howard, Tom Wright, Danny Butterworth, Kieran Puetz. Not pictured: Max Lawton, Keelan Sherwani, Stelios Piperakis, Iain Lawrence