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positive return for stars

Oxford City Stars head coach Dean Birrell is in positive mood following the weekend’s challenge matches.

The Stars overcome Coventry NIHL Blaze 8-0 and 7-0 in the double header as the club warmed up for the league campaign. It saw return of ice hockey after 542 days, lots of players get on the scoresheet and two shut outs for new netminder Matt Croyle.

Birrell said: “It was a very productive weekend with lots of positives.

“Full credit to Coventry who worked hard throughout and made us play all the way. I was pleased we kept our defence intact and that we shared the goals around. It is a good start and I couldn’t ask for more.

“We saw a lot of good things in the squad and plenty of positives to build on. We are not getting carried away, we have a lot to do and we can’t wait for the league now.”

It was Birrell’s first matches on the bench in charge of the Stars – despite being appointed more than 18 months ago. The pandemic meant a season on the side lines – but now the club is raring to go.

“It was a great feeling to finally be out there,” said Birrell.

“The support was excellent and Oxpens will be a real fortress for us this season. I want to make it a very difficult place for teams to visit. The mood at the club is really strong and everyone is together.

“We’ve got a tough start to the league, but we’re up for it and ready to go. We’ll need our supporters right behind us as always.”

First fixtures:

Saturday September 18th: Streatham Redhawks (A)

Dean Birrell - photo by Paul Foster

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