Second out of the hat for the NIHL1 season previews is Peterborough Phantoms. Returning defenceman Scott Robson gives us his take on the upcoming season and the team they have put together.
To the fans of the South NIHL1. The season is finally here!
It feels so long ago when the announcement came about the disbanding of the EPL and a lot of fans, players and probably owners started panicking asking themselves ‘what’s next’?
I think we as players this summer, especially those of us who played in the EPL/NIHL previously, have been put in the unknown regarding what the future of second tier standard was going to be like. Nobody telling us what’s happening with the structure of the league, nobody telling us if our respected teams was committing into a similar league format.. It was honestly very weird.. Guys was signing for teams under the basis of not knowing what was actually going to happen, not knowing what sort of teams was still going to actually put out a team. Now that it’s settled down and we have something concrete to go by, obviously things are on the up for British hockey now and everybody knows what’s going on. I think it’s fair to say everyone’s excited by it and intrigued as to what the season will bring. Whether it lasts one season or more in this format? Who knows.
My hopes for my team the Phantoms are the same as all my teammates, management, owners and our fans: to Win. There are four trophies to challenge for this year, and I’m confident in saying that we will be in the mix and competing for all trophies. Peterborough was always looked at as a underdog in the EPL especially since I moved here 3 seasons ago, but now after the collapse of that league, and teams like Guildford an MK moving up to Elite league, it opens the door for us and the likes of Swindon an Bracknell to be at the top end of the league table along with Basingstoke.
We have a exciting team, just like we’ve had in the past. Of our new additions, I think the likes of Salem, Jamieson, Billing and Knaggs will all make a impact in the games in their own way. We will still be able to play a very entertaining for the fans of all teams to watch, we will play as a fast, direct, energy team. And we will make it a place that teams don’t want to come to, which I’ve found is usually the case especially over the past few years.
I think our imports are the best in the league hands down, Darius (Pliskauskas) and Padi (Ales Padelek) have it all and tons of high level experience, they also definitely put our average age on our team up which helps (as two of only 3 over 30’s on the team). No doubt they will have there own individual goals aligned with our team goals to make our season a huge success. They both know how to score as well as anyone and both put in 100% for the team every night.
We have a very strong team of core guys who have been on the team through thick and thin. They know what it takes to win no matter what circumstances arise, which I think is crucial especially coming into such a unknown season like this one.
Our goalie Adam Long will be relied upon to be our number 1 this year and I think he is more than ready for it: ready to step up and do what’s required to compete in every game and even steal us a few games here and there. he’s prepared well this summer, so for sure he will have a breakout year.
We also have a number of young guys once again who will look to break into big minute roles on our team, so they will have to take there chance when the opportunity is given. It’s going to be pretty exciting, seeing who’s going to surprise and step up for the team.
As a newcomer to the majority of the teams in the South NIHL, I don’t really know what to expect in regards to the new players, teams and rinks. I guess dipping a little into the unknown makes it exciting and especially not knowing what sort of standard it’s going to be as well! Should be interesting… I’m sure all the former southern NIHL teams will all go out to prove a point against us and the other old EPL teams and they’ll want to show they deserve to be in the same league as us and not to be looked over by any means.
I’ve heard teams like Cardiff Fire and Streatham IHC should be pretty hard and exciting games as they both have new arenas and they have signed a few ex EPL players so I’m pretty excited for those games (although maybe not so much the 5hour journey to an from Cardiff on a Sunday Night!). Obviously for me, the match ups against Hull (in the NIHL1 Cup) will be good fun as well as it’s a former team of mine and a lot of old friends still play there so those will probably be the games I look forward to the most.
As we edge closer to the season, more and more of the boys from the local area in an around Peterborough have been getting together once or twice a week to skate and scrimmage and that has been a lot of fun, Our sessions have a few players who are now in Elite League teams and some of the South NIHL 2 players as well so it’s a good mix. We’ve even had few guys like Will Weldon an Greg Pick came down to a few of the summer skates which surprised a lot of guys because usually they are dedicated to their locals instead of the rink in summertime 😉
A lot of us have spoke in depth upon preparation for the season and everyone’s excited for first game and to finally get going an to play against the new teams in the new league structure. They are a few guys who have circled off the free weekends an the one game weekends (a rarity for the ex-EPL teams) already for various reason. I won’t name their names but I’m sure you can figure that bit out!
Scott Robson #11
Peterborough Phantoms start their 2017-18 campaign with 2 sets of challenges (away/home to Basingstoke Bison on 2-3 Sept and away/home to Swindon Wildcats on 9-10 Sept). Their first competitive game will see them hosting Bracknell Bees in a league game on Saturday 16th Sept.
You’ll be able to find all the remaining articles in our 10by10 season previews (as they are released) together with all the previous seasons’ articles on the following link: http://482days.com/category/10by10/