Doug Sheppard’s appointment as Head Coach was one of the most talked about transfers in UK hockey last season and now the Berkshire Cycles Bracknell Bees can confirm that “Shep” will return to the Bees for the next three seasons.
Doug Sheppard is a well respected name in British Ice Hockey, both formerly as a player and now a Head Coach. His coaching record is second to none and he is a coach that players have wanted to play for in Basingstoke in the Elite League and then Slough Jets and again back at Basingstoke in his second spell.
In his first season in charge at the Hive Doug has overseen the Bees most successful season in over a decade with their highest league finish, first cup semi-final appearance and the best play-off run currently ongoing.
Sheppard’s reputation previously enabled both Slough and Basingstoke to attract some high quality players that went on to form highly successful teams and despite 2018/19 having been a successful start the Bees Head Coach always knew that year 1 would be the rebuilding year and that the Bees still can improve on their record from this season.
Off the ice great improvements have been made this season as well, the most successful of which being the School Zone which has exceeded all year 1 targets set. It was always Doug’s view that the club should be just as successful off the ice as on the ice and this season has been a great start to the philosophy as well.
Over the last few seasons, Doug’s coaching ability together with his reputation for attracting quality players to his teams have made his one of the most sought after signatures in UK Hockey and the club are pleased that Doug has agreed a three year return.
On confirming his return Doug Sheppard said; “I’m delighted to be returning to the Hive for the next three years to continue to build upon the work we’ve already achieved within the programme this season. I’ve really enjoyed my time at this great club so far, receiving a warm welcome from our fanbase as we put ourselves on the pathway to success here at the Hive.
I’d like to thank the directors for their continued support moving forward – it has been a team effort to drive a new culture into the club, of which we are only at the beginning. There’s still plenty of hard work to do – but I’m relishing the challenge and can’t wait to get going.”
A happy Stuart Robinson, Bees Director, gave his view; “Richard, Rob and I are extremely pleased that Doug has committed his talents for at least the next three seasons. We believe that he is without doubt the right guy to move the club forward on and off the ice, as we return to an exciting, truly National league setup.
“Doug has brought the feel good factor back to the Hive and has worked tirelessly this season to bring in fantastic numbers of new supporters and sponsors and inspire a growing army of volunteers. We know he will continue to build on that, keep valuing the special place that the Bracknell Bees has in our local community and also try and help us win back longer-standing fans who have dropped away over the last five years or so, by putting together another entertaining and competitive team.”
The Bees are delighted with this news and will be confirming season ticket information for our next campaign in the very near future.