DEESIDE DRAGONS captain James Parsons has opened up about his thoughts on the past, present and future of the Flintshire club that he has played for since he was a child.

Speaking to the Leader, Parsons, 32, admitted that his side underestimated the NIHL Laidler Conference last year after dropping into it following their relegation from the Moralee league at the end of the 2017/18 season.

But despite enduring a difficult return to life in the second division, Parsons believes that his side have now adjusted and are in a good position to fight for the play-offs this time around.

He said: “After coming down in to the Laidler last season, we underestimated the strength of the league and struggled quite a bit.

“But this year, we’ve done well overall. We started with a really good win at Hull, but then we dipped a bit straight after with a couple of close defeats to Bradford where it could have gone differently.

“We got back into it over November and December and really pushed ourselves up the table and into serious contention for the play-offs, although we’ve had a couple of tough results since.

“So, it has been up and down, but at least our performances have improved on what they were last year.

“We started the season looking for a top four finish to make the play-offs, and I think we are still in a good position to make that.

“We’ve got our games against the top two out of the way now, and only have games against teams around us left, so it’s in our hands between now and the end of the season.”

Looking ahead, the 32-year-old from Queensferry who has been representing the Dragons since 1995 when he joined at the age of six, believes the team has a bright future.

“There are a lot of young lads in the team, and they’re all very talented with James (Shaw) and Charlie (Spridgeon) in particular both good hockey players.

“James (Shaw) has already doubled his goal tally from last year, and there’s still a fair few games to go. But both of them keep their heads down and work hard on bettering their game which is what you need to do to be successful with anything,” the club captain added.

Over an illustrious career so far, Parsons has scored a sensational 322 goals and claimed 276 assists in 421 appearances in all competitions for the Flintshire club.

Despite it proving to be a difficult season for the team as a whole, the right winger still managed to score the most goals in the Laidler Conference in 2018/19 with 38.

And Parsons could repeat the feat this term having already got himself an impressive 22 goals and 16 assists from 19 games so far this season, with another nine fixtures still to play.

The Dragons return to action when they host their fierce rivals Telford Tigers at the Den on January 26, with both sides desperate for a win to keep their play-off hopes alive.