After spending the last four years competing against each other, Brandon’s Rob Fowler has teamed up Jeff Stoughton again.
Fowler, who skipped a Brandon-based team to a bronze medal at the 2012 Brier, announced he will throw third stones for the new team next season that will have Alex Forrest and Connor Njegovan at second and lead, respectively.
Fowler threw second stones for Stoughton from 2006 to 2010 and remained friends with the 11-time Manitoba men’s champion after parting ways to form his own team. When he heard Stoughton’s team was splitting, the Brandonite put in a phone call to his former skip and is happy to team up with him again.
"As soon as Jeff’s team decided to go their separate ways I had a conversation with Jeff and that just seemed like it would be the best fit moving into next year," he said.
Fowler’s team had already split up with third Allan Lyburn deciding to take a year off and lead Samagalski jumping no board with Reid Carruthers as his second.
Forrest and Njegovan played with former Brandonite William Lyburn last season and reached the Safeway Championship semifinal in Winnipeg. Fowler believes their addition brings some youth to the roster, which he and Stoughton wanted, but also some experience as they appeared at the 2010 Canadian junior curling championship together and have played on the men’s tour.
The new squad will be based out of Winnipeg, but Fowler admits his heart will always be with the Brandon Curling Club.
"It was definitely a goal and a dream of mine to skip a team based out of Brandon and I’ve had that opportunity over the last four years," he said. "It was also a goal and a dream to win Manitoba curling out of the Brandon Curling Club. That still is what I consider to be home. It will be home, but it just boils down to trying to align myself with the best teammates and that has worked out."