It’s the opening weekend of a two weekend pre-season for the TSI World Bracknell Bees as they start with a 6.15pm face off on Saturday in Swindon ahead of the return fixture on Sunday at the Hive at 5.30pm.
Head Coach Doug Sheppard’s lineup has been bolstered by the recent additions of forward Richard Krogh and goaltender Greg Blais together with Luke Jackson and Will Stead joining up on two way agreements with the Hornets.
There’s a whole new challenge ahead this season with the creation of a new national league but this weekend’s teams were rivals in the Britton conference last season. After a tied regular season match up with the Wildcats, a record that not many other teams could boast, Bees went on to edge Swindon out of the post season play-offs in a two legged weekend and securing their place at Coventry in the process of doing so.
Over the summer Doug Sheppard has more adjusted than rebuilt his roster. There’s returns for a number of regulars and after an amazing first season Zack Milton will be a permanent fixture in the roster from day one this season. It’ll also be the first chance to see new netminder Adam Goss between the pipes this weekend.
As Doug mentioned earlier in the week he fully expects Luke Jackson and Will Stead to take a full part in both this and next weekend.
Robin Kovar will also make his debut this weekend in the black, white and gold alongside his good friend Roman Malinik who returns for his second season.
There’s been changes in Wiltshire this summer with both last season’s imports retiring but Wildcats Coach Aaron Nell has managed to lure back Tomasz Malasinski who was one of the leading imports with the Wildcats in the EPL.
Doug Sheppard looked ahead to the challenges of the opening weekend of pre-season; “It’s great to be back playing games, I’m sure the fans and players are equally excited for the games to start. It’s a perfect way to start the season, with two games against last season’s league champions.”
Bees play in Swindon on Saturday before their home opener on Sunday at 5.30pm. Tickets are available on 01344 789000 and away fans are reminded to book in block 4.