Hailing from Longmeadow, Massachusetts, the 27-year-old follows in the footsteps of familiar names like Jeff Baum and Darcy Murphy as a Friendship Four alum, and has returned to Belfast to pull on the Teal jersey after turning pro.
Foley was a part of the 2018 NCAA D1 Yale Bulldogs team who crossed the Atlantic to take part in the annual college hockey showpiece at The SSE Arena, Belfast; an event which continues to be a key recruitment asset to the Belfast Giants.
He arrives in Belfast after two seasons in the ECHL with the Wheeling Nailers, culminating in AHL call ups with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Tucson Roadrunners.
Commenting on the signing of Matt Foley, head coach Adam Keefe said: “This signing is a welcome addition to the 2022/23 roster. Coming through NCAA hockey with Yale, and his experience in the ECHL with the Wheeling Nailers for the last two seasons, I have no doubt that Foley will be a robust asset in our defensive zone. We look forward to welcoming another new face to Belfast this season.”
Eager to bring his game to Belfast, Foley said: “I’m defensive first, but I like to make a pass and move up the ice with my legs, try to stay connected to the rush and contribute to the offence. First and foremost, it’s about keeping the puck out of my net and being hard to play against. That’s something I take a lot of pride in.”
Speaking of his experience playing NCAA College hockey with Yale, Foley said: “We had a great group of guys. We didn’t always win, but we were competitive every year. It was a great four years for me, I developed both as a player, and as a person... I was in Belfast in 2018 for the Friendship Four and I loved Belfast as a city. The club and the Arena made a good impression on me, at that point it struck up the idea in my head that this would be a cool place to play. It’s exciting to know that I'm coming back.”
The Friendship Four returns to The SSE Arena, Belfast this November – a high-profile four-game tournament, that is the first and only National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) hockey tournament to take place outside of the United States. Tickets are available here.
Further signings are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets for pre-season home games on Saturday 20 August vs Cardiff Devils, and Saturday 27 August vs Dundee Stars will go on sale this Friday 9 July at 12 noon. Tickets will be available for purchase via Ticketmaster IE.
MORE ABOUT OUR LATEST SIGNING
MATT FOLEY | LONGMEADOW, MA, USA | #24
After Captaining his high school hockey team at Springfield Cathedral, MA and graduating as class Valedictorian, 6-foot-1 Defenceman Matt Foley opted for college in 2016 after a two-year stint at Junior A level with the Merritt Centennials (BCHL) and Bloomington Thunder (USHL).
He was selected to the ECAC All-Academic Team in each of his four years at Yale.
Foley joined the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers in 2020, making 60 appearances and sharing a locker room with Mike Pelech, brother of former Belfast Giants Captain Matt Pelech.
He was called up to the AHL, North America’s second tier of hockey in 2021-22, making a single appearance for Pittsburgh Penguin affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and icing 17 times for Arizona Coyotes affiliate Tucson Roadrunners.