Goodnight and Good Luck – Callum Best

Well it’s not going to come as a shock to anyone considering the roster being finalised but we can now officially say goodbye to #11 Callum Best from the Bison family.


What have we lost?


We’ve lost a 10th forward who became something of a fan favourite due to his effort. Best saw very little ice time in the first half of the season but after Andy Hemmings departed for Guildford it required the young man to really step up and play big.

As a senior it was his career year in points with 11 on a 3rd line that while it didn’t score big went out and mostly did the job it was asked to.

He wasn’t the most skilled player on the roster but he went out and gave his…err…best as it were.

He also scored a goal in the EPL cup semi final away leg victory in Manchester. (Just don’t ask for the highlights)


Where has he gone?


Callum was announced the other day as having joined the Slough Jets team in ENL 1 South, a team to be coached by EPL Jets’ Adam Greener. Best will be playing alongside Jets owner Zoran Kozic who tore ENL 2 South a new backside last season as well as former Flames junior propsect Andrew Melachrino and Carl Thompson, brother of ex Bison Shaun. – press release


The players announced so far for the ENL 1 Jets make them look an OK if not great side at ENL 1 level. The hope for Callum is that he’ll obviously get more ice time than he got on the third line last year at EPL level in Basingstoke. This is the chance for the young man to really develop himself and be back in the EPL the season after this.


Who replaces him?


As tenth forward, directly it’ll be Jacob Heron. I’ve not seen much of Heron, only the fleeting appearances he’s been allowed at the rink by Nick Poole but I’m inclined to think Heron is, at least on paper, a better player.

Despite being smaller than Callum and not having a sizeable points total, at 19 Heron has managed to get 100 EPL appearances under his belt which is nothing to be sniffed at when you consider the quality of the MK Lightning side the last few years. Nick Poole is no slouch and knows talent.

Neither Best last season nor Heron had topping the scoring charts given to them as their prime objective but it’ll be interesting to see how Heron performs away from the MK system that he knows so well.


Final Words


I remember staring at my computer, nearly sick with nerves listening to the EPL cup semi final and yelling so loud my wife nearly leapt a foot off the sofa when Callum Best scored to make it Manchester 0-2 Basingstoke. It was a rare moment in his brief career when he outshone everyone else on the ice.


Callum Best is a decent hockey player, lets make sure that’s out here now. However Callum is not the finished article and at 19 will only develop with ice time. Another season as 10th forward in Basingstoke won’t do that for him.


Someone mentioned to me over the summer how much they wanted Callum back, more so than other arguably more talented players. Now I respect that person’s opinion, I don’t agree with it but I respect it. I think we all warmed to the young man but the decision for Callum to drop to the ENL is probably the correct one for his career.


In the end of season yearbook I did in March I wrote the following:


Part of me does wonder if Callum will go elsewhere to guarantee himself more ice time. Whatever happens, we’ll always have the memories.”


Without blowing my own trumpet too much, I think that’s pretty apt.


All the best Callum.


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