And so it begins

Thursday, 11th September 2014

J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix begin the defence of their English Premier League title with two games this coming weekend.

On Saturday they travel to Berkshire to take on the Bracknell Bees, the team they knocked out of the Play offs last season.

Bracknell have lost some key personnel from last season’s 8th placed team. Experienced D man Tony Redmond has left the club along with Sam Oakford (to Nottingham Panthers) and Brendan Baird ( to Basingstoke Bison) . Forward Rob Lamey has retired and Grant Rounding (to Basingstoke) and Ollie Bronniman (to Guildford) have also left. Shaun Thompson also changed colours and has joined the Phoenix.

The Bees have added Matt Towalski from Slough, Ryan Watt from Swindon, Sam Waller from Slough and import Radek Hubacek from the Czech Republic. 

Whether the players signed can replace the experienced ones who have left remains to be seen, but the Bees have had an impressive pre-season with wins over Swindon and will go into the game with confidence.

Phoenix have a good record down in Bracknell and will be looking to start the campaign by bringing the points home.

On Sunday, Swindon Wildcats visit the Dome for Phoenix’s home league opener.

Wildcats have made a few changes with Aku Pekkarinen, Jonas Hoog, Ryan Watt, Sam Godfrey and Sam Smith not returning.

In their place, Tomas Malasinski has come in from Poland and Kenton Smith, well known to Manchester fans, moved from Cardiff.

Swindon will be an offensive threat with Aaron Nell and Henri Sandvik up front and Stevie Lyle backstopping them.

Phoenix go into the weekend games after a mixed pre-season weekend against the Steeldogs and a hard week of training sees them raring to go.

Coach Hand commented:

“We have worked hard this week and the team is ready. Hopefully we will be at full strength. It will be tough down in Bracknell. There are no easy games in this league now as every team appears to have strengthened. Swindon are a good side but we will be looking for the points this weekend.”

The Swindon game faces off at the usual time of 17:30.