Lewis Houston tipped to have positive impact if back with Leeds Chiefs

LEWIS HOUSTON will prove a major asset for Leeds Chiefs if, as expected, he remains at the NIHL National club for the 2020-21 campaign.

Lewis Houston, in action for Leeds Chiefs against Hull Pirates last season. Picture: Dean Woolley.

The 18-year-old winger played barely half a season for the Chiefs in their inaugural campaign in the UK’s new second-tier, but finished as their second-highest goalscorer.

Having been persuaded to make the switch up from North One outfit Solway Sharks to West Yorkshire in December, Houston recorded 15 goals and seven assists in just 28 appearances.

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Joe Coulter blossoms after overcoming challenges with Leeds Chiefs
Joe Coulter, alternate captain for Leeds Chiefs in their debut NIHL National season. Picture: Dean Woolley.

Player-coach Sam Zajac has been given the green light by Planet Ice bosses to put together his roster for next season and Houston is expected to be among those returning.

And fellow Scot Joe Coulter, who made the same journey from Solway as Houston five months earlier to become one of the Chiefs’ alternate captains for 2019-20, believes the teenager has what it takes be a regular game-changer next season.

“He realised his potential at this level pretty quickly,” said Coulter, another player who it would be no surprise to see back at Elland Road in August.

“He is an incredible player, an impact guy who can create something out of nothing and just has so much skill.

“He’s got great speed, he can shoot – he’s the full package without a doubt.

“We were very lucky to be able to bring him here and I personally think he was wasted in the league below. It was good for his confidence, but it wasn’t really pushing him enough.

“He’s a clutch player and to be such a clutch player at his age is incredible.”

Houston, a GB Under-18 international last year, wasted little time in announcing himself to his new team-mates and the league when he scored an overtime winner at Basingstoke Bison in what was just his second appearance.

For Coulter, who had played alongside him previously for two seasons at Solway, it came as little surprise.

“He had that impact I knew he would straightaway when he scored that overtime winner at Basingstoke,” added Coulter. “He scored a couple of OT winners and in a shootout win for us, that alone speaks volumes about him.

“He has his head switched on and all he cares about is winning. If he is with Leeds again next season, he’ll have a full pre-season behind him and he will only get better and better.”