Lightning shocked by Mettam exit

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Lightning fans have been left disappointed by the news that popular netminder Alex Mettam has left the club for ‘a new challenge’.

After four consecutive seasons between the pipes for Lightning, Mettam has taken up a better off to play for a so far unnamed club.

Head coach Nick Poole said: “Alex is leaving us after receiving a fantastic offer from another team. It was a difficult decision for him and we talked many times about him staying as he had become a big part of our team.

“However, I think the lure of a new challenge and great package became too much for Alex to turn down.

“He has been a fantastic servant for the Lightning and he leaves with our best wishes, and our thanks for all the effort he has put in over the last four years.

“I’m pleased that we have really helped in Mettsy’s development, as when he came to us he had played so few games in the English Premier League.

“He now leaves us as one of the top netminders in the league. I’m sure all of MKL’s great fans would like to join me and the rest of the team in wishing him well at his new club.

“Who knows, we may see him again in the gold and black of MKL one day.”

The news of Mettam’s departure comes in the same week that fellow goalie Stephen Wall has signed on for the 2013-14 season.

Wall had a higher goals saved percentage than any other netminder in the EPL, and is delighted to be back on board for another season.

“I’m really glad to be coming back for another year,” he said. “It’s a brilliant team to play for and the fans are just superb.

“I’m really looking forward to getting started again in September. Hopefully we can get rid of the inconsistent patches of form that we suffered from in the season just gone, and win some silverware to take back to the Thunderdome when the refurbishment is finished.”

Poole added: “We’re really pleased to be able to bring Wally back for a second season. I thought Stephen had a fantastic season and single-handedly won games for us last season.

“It probably took him a few weeks to get his feet under the table with us, but once he did he won several games on his own for us.

“He is a big goalie that has presence in the net and is a natural shot-stopper. He is a great lad and I know all the guys are thrilled to have him back in goal for us next year.

“The guys are very confident playing in front of Wally and I have no doubt he will be once again at the top of the netminder charts next season.”