Oxford City Stars are thrilled to announce them Simon Anderson has put pen to paper and has committed to the 23/24 season with Oxford’s Premier ice hockey team!
The vastly experienced coach has revamped the stars this season and was a crucial capture for the team to ensure a stable platform to build from. Anderson unsurprisingly had interest from other clubs, given his experience not only in the UK but also having spent time in Sweden. Coach Anderson had this to say: “I'm delighted to be back for another season with Oxford City Stars. When Jo and Shane approached me, I had no hesitation in agreeing a new deal. It was always my intention to help Jo and Shane build the club and that cannot be done in a single season. We are starting to build something special and I think the only way you get to the end goal is with stability throughout the organisation. Its been a strange season with many up’s and down’s. The fact that we only finished 5 points from 3rd spots tells you that with 3 more win we would have comfortably been a top 3 or 4 team.
Last summer myself and Shane brought in around 14 new players and I think our slow start to the season after winning at Slough on the opening weekend certainly was down to the fact that we made a lot of changes and it was always going to take time to come together and gel as a team.
I think the summer ahead will be much different and I think it's important to not only have stability in the coaching positions, but also within the playing side too. Last summer’s rebuild was very much needed, but I feel this summer we really will be looking to keep as many players from this seasons roster as possible and talks are already happening as I write this.
Oxford used to have a core group of Oxford boys and they formed a great bond together and it enabled them to be really successful. With those boys apart from a couple retiring, we now need to have a new core of players who stay here for a number of seasons, to form that team spirit and togetherness. I think Solent Devils are a great example of that, in being a low budget team, but get results due to being a tight knit group.
So I think it's important to tie down as many guys as we can and then see how the summer develops. One thing is for sure, myself and Shane Moore will be doing our best to put a team on the ice that our sponsors and fans can be proud of and hopefully aim to be in that top 3 or 4 come this time next year.
Before that however we have the playoffs against Solent Devils. The boys were exceptional against Slough last weekend, and if we can produce 120minutes of hockey like that, then we will hopefully be heading to MK to play in the Final 4 Weekend.”
Shane Moore, Director of Hockey Operations added: “Simon is a key piece of the organisation and retaining him to build on the great work hes done this season is huge for us. As the premier team in Oxford, we are excited to have a coach of his pedigree show his commitment to the club. Simon managed to finish the season only 5 points of a top 3 spot, and has managed to produce some shock results. Maintaining the core of his team and adding some new exciting signings to that core will allow us to hit the ground running at the start of next season.