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Stars focused on progress

Oxford City Stars head coach Dean Birrell praised the spirit the team showed in the final period against MK Thunder.

The Stars were 0-3 down going into the final period – only to stage a comeback to draw the match 5-5. MK Thunder picked up the extra point after winning overtime.

It saw the Stars put their first point of the season on the board, after a difficult start to the campaign.

The Stars narrowly lost at 2-1 at Slough Jets on Saturday in a closely fought contest.

And with no fixture this weekend the club is using the break to focus on re-grouping.

Birrell said: “The squad showed spirit in the final period on Sunday to come back into the match so strongly.

“We’ll take the positives from that, they showed what they can do, but overall, it’s been a difficult start to the season.

“We have been in every game, but not quite got over the line so far. We now have an opportunity to really look at what we have. I’ve only seen the team in four competitive matches since I signed them. So, we’ll use this fortnight to reflect, assess the players, our systems and improve what we do."

The Stars have drafted in Okanagan Hockey Academy head coach Ryan Aldridge to work with the club’s coaches and players on a short-term basis. Aldridge has coached Bracknell Bees and led the club to the EPL League and play off championships. He has also coached in the UK Elite League with Basingstoke Bison. He has also coached GB U19s and U16s.

Birrell said: “Ryan will come in and provide us with an outside perspective on our squad, systems and tactics. As a coach I’m always open to fresh ideas, building best practice and new learnings and working with other coaches to make sure we add the best possible value.

“Ryan is a very experienced coach, who has coached at Elite league level and will be a great boost to us and our player development. His insights and guidance will be invaluable to both the Stars and our junior club. He will work with our group of coaches and the players across the next six weeks.”

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