Stars to field a development team

Stars' Jesse Lye and Dominic Hopkins

Oxford City Stars will field a development team for the 2017/18 season following a major restructuring of the English hockey league.

The second team, called Oxford Junior Stars, will compete in the third tier, known as NIHL2 South, and will face 12 other sides including Basingstoke Buffalo, Bracknell Hornets, and Swindon Wildcats 2.

This means Oxford will have teams in both the second and third tiers in the UK after the English Ice Hockey Association announced a new league format earlier this month.

Jayne Harrison, from the Junior Stars, said: “This is a landmark event in terms of junior hockey development in the city and is reward for the hard work we’ve all invested in the junior club. We’re looking forward to exciting times ahead.”

The club said the Junior Stars would aid player development and help ensure a stable long-term future for the club.

Stars director Russell Shrives said: “We are building a really good relationship with the Oxford Junior Club and a major factor in developing this further will be the newly formed NIHL2 Oxford team that the junior club will run as a predominately development team, with a few old heads thrown in for their experience.

“This is extremely exciting and of the utmost importance for Oxford.”

To build the team, the Junior Stars will hold a summer league for six weeks starting on June 7.

For more information and to register interest, contact John Harrison at john@hhmedical.plus.com

Oxford City Stars will play in Division 1 – the new second tier – next season and have been placed in Conference A.

They will be joined by Bracknell Bees, Basingstoke Bison, Milton Keynes Thunder, Solent Devils and
Cardiff Fire.

The NIHL season will begin on the weekend of September 2/3 and is scheduled to end April 7/8.

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