Building the Herd – Connor Standing

#35 Connor Standing

Position: Netminder

Born: Basingstoke, Hampshire

Announced as signed: Basingstoke Gazette, 12th June

 

With Mr Mogg taken care of, we move onto the second of our midweek teenage trio. Doug Sheppard keeps faith in his backup netminder by announcing the return of Connor Standing.

Standing, 18 is locally based and a product of the Basingstoke junior system having come through the ranks of the junior Bison with a brief spell in Guildford. Connor’s first season with the under 16s came when he was 14 in 2009/10 appearing on the gamesheet in 13 contests with a 3.46 GAA and a .888 save percentage. 2010/11 saw Standing split time between the u16 and u18 Bison teams for a total of 36 games for both teams. His skills obviously impressed then Bison coach Steve Moria who added Standing to the Bison roster for 2011/12 alongside his duty for the under 18s. Connor didn’t appear in the EPL that season but did dress once as a backup to Matt Colclough. For the under 18s, Standing played 18 contests finishing with a 4.40 GAA and .897 save percentage, a career high.

Last season Connor was called full time into the Bison squad as backup to Stevie Lyle which can only have benefitted the young man as Lyle took 1st team all star honours.

Standing has also played for the South West conference and represented England.

15 minutes and 39 seconds; that is the sum total of Connor Standing’s first full EPL season. 4 shots, 1 goal conceded. It’s provided discussion on internet forums for those quick to point the finger at the Bison as crushing the young man’s development especially after Dan Green was signed as cover for the two games that Lyle was on duty for Great Britain. Do I wish Standing had started one of the games? Yes. Did the system allow Sheppard to do what he did? Do I understand why he did what he did? Also yes, whether we like it is something else.

Standing’s not an idiot, he’ll have known what he was getting into signing on as number two to Lyle last season. It was about the long game and his own improvement as a player alongside one of the finest British netminders of the last decade rather than how many games he played in. It’s what made Ryan Aldridge’s dismay at Tom Murdy’s departure from Swindon in the local paper all the more amusing; signing Lyle as your number one means your backup is going to see minimal time.

The way I look at it is this; costs aside Standing has been deemed worthy by two coaches back to back of being on the roster and by Sheppard as worthy to go into a real game situation. There are a few young local netminders who could have done that job but Standing got chosen. Yes the results might have been beyond doubt in the games he appeared in but this isn’t a 3rd line winger, this is a netminder. It’s a different position and you need a slightly different mentality when examining it.

Standing gets a better chance of time this year. We’re not going to replace Lyle like for like unless someone pulls a British qualifying connection out of his rear or we sign an import goalie. Dean Skinns, Gregg Rockman, Yutaka Fukafuji, whoever we sign likely won’t be of Lyle’s individual quality and as a fanbase we have to rectify ourselves to that but the chance it gives to Standing is something I hope he grabs with both hands. He’s a year older, wiser and hopefully better. Whether he starts a game this year remains to be seen but there’s a chance to prove himself worthy in the relief role. In a game you never know when something is going to happen. A kick save, an over stretch and something gives with your starter, in goes the backup. He has decent pedigree, he has the trust of the coach, let’s see what Connor Standing can do with more time and more chances.

Welcome back Connor. We’re behind you.

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