Bracknell Bees new Head Coach Doug Sheppard is delighted to announce his first player signing of the 18/19 season as pen put to paper brings back a former Bees’ fans’ favourite. The first member of the new squad will be Vanya Antonov.
The 21 year old Russian born forward first came to fame playing in the Bracknell Bees squad of 2013/14 at the age of 16 where his 22 appearances netted 4+1 and saw him playing for GB at both Under 18 and Under 20 level. 2014/15 was arguably a breakout season for the talented forward as he upped his points production with 19 goals and 22 assists in 43 EPL starts. He also netted 7 points appearing for GB Under 18s and Under 20s.
2015/16 would be his last season in his first spell at the Hive but before departing he recorded statistics of 24+41 from his 51 games. This brought him to the attention of Doug Sheppard who signed him up for the Basingstoke Bison where he’s spent the last 2 years, last season recording nearly 2 points per league game. In his final game for the Hampshire club he scored 1+1 helping the Bison to the Final Four Play-off Title.
Now Doug Sheppard has moved quickly to return the left shooting forward to Bracknell where he’ll once again wear Bees colours.
Head Coach Doug Sheppard said; “Being a Bracknell Junior he’s exactly what we’re looking; I think it’s important to get Bracknell juniors on the roster. He’s going to have a busy year balancing hockey and a PhD but he loves the game and he’ll manage just fine.”
On his return to Bracknell Vanya commented; “Leaving Bracknell was a tough choice but I wanted to test myself in a different club. I can see how much the organisation has changed and really improved over the last year. This year when Doug signed as Coach I thought straight away it was a move in the right direction as I could see the club had the future in mind.”
He added; “It fits perfectly with my commitments outside of hockey at university, I’m pleased to be teaming up with Doug again and very excited to be coming back to Bracknell and I hope I can contribute to bringing success and a few trophies to the club.”
Doug Sheppard concluded; “Everyone knows his offensive skills but he’s a great two way player. He creates a lot of turnovers with his relentless backpressure. He’s reliable in all situations, especially on the penalty kill. He’s the kind of player you need to be successful and I’m glad we’ve got him back in Bracknell this season.”
Antonov stands at 5’9, weighs 163lbs and shoots left handed. His home and away shirts will be available for own and loan with full details of the 18/19 Own and Loan scheme being announced at the Season ticket event next Wednesday at Blues Smokehouse. All players this season will also be available for corporate sponsorship with details being announced next Wednesday.
We’d like to remind supporters further players will be announced exclusively at Blue’s Smokehouse next Wednesday, 30th May at our season ticket launch evening where you can get exclusive first details on season tickets, own and loan, sponsorship plus hear Doug Sheppard announce more signings. Be at Blues next Wednesday for 7pm to avoid missing out.