With the NIHL Division One fixtures now out Oxford City Stars Head Coach Simon Anderson outlines his view on the schedule
With the squad recruited and the fixture list now confirmed we can really plan our season. It is a very different and more time-consuming schedule than the guys would have been used to in the past couple of seasons. This will be a big test of not only our ability, but commitment and fitness levels too.
We face a very tough start with two of the teams that in my eyes should be towards the top of the standings. But overall, I am happy with the way the schedule is laid out. We have a few occasions where we have three home games in a row, and this is where we need to capitalise and make Oxpens Road a fortress. Our fans will play a major part in helping us. A lot of players I speak too say they find it quite intimidating as an opposing player at Oxpens and that’s how we need to make every team feel coming in here.
Mid November to early December will be a big test, with five road games on the bounce and we will need our players to be mentally and physically prepared for the challenge that lies ahead during that time. As a team we will always want to bounce back from any defeat immediately and we will have a goal of trying to never lose two games in a row. We need to create that bounce back ability and pride ourselves on achieving that goal.
There is a lot of hard work ahead in what will be a tough league, but it will be a whole lot of fun and I believe this group of players can achieve anything and be as good as they want to be. It will not come without hard work and sacrifice from all of us and we are all willing to do whatever it takes to give our fans, sponsors, management group and the county of Oxfordshire a team to be proud of.