With the new season just under two weeks away now and pre-season about to start (although for some it’s started) it’s time to take a brief look ahead to the new season.
I’ve written in depth for the Bison programme on each team so won’t steal that thunder by posting the same here as Graham Bell will be doing an excellent job of creating the Bison match night programme (which you should buy and read!) but just quickly.
A tough season for them, they were undisputed champions last season in the league and cup but Slava Koulikov and the Phantoms proved them beatable on the big occasion stage. Every coach will now be aware where they set the bar and will have had a whole summer to adjust their own bar and set their own tactics.
Quite a few changes over the summer, not least of which being fresh new imports, all of which are forwards. Some gelling needed by Dixon but looks a better team than last year.
My tip for the title! Last season I tipped the Bison as league winners having watched them beat Telford early in the season but things didn’t work out as planned. This year there’s an import goalie in net which should add solidity to the back and could backstop a good out skating team to the league.
Last saeason’s Play-off Champions and a real surprise package across the season. Allegedly far from the biggest budget Slava Koulikov was left to assemble and coach a team and showed how good a coach he actually is.
Change of Head Coach in Swindon this year sees shot stopper Stevie Lyle take charge of a team traditionally good on paper. The former GB goalie will be looking to transition the paper performance to on ice results.
The best of the rest
Bracknell Bees will be looking to build from last season as in 14/15 they looked entirely out of their depth in the EPL. Manchester will have to adjust to life after Tony Hand the player and Milton Keynes will have to get used to new Coach Peter Russell. Sheffield have changed coach twice in the summer with Greg Wood replacing Dominic Osmon who replaced Andre Payette. Osmon now finds himself at Hull Pirates, the newest team in the EPL.
The season kicks off on September 12th
1 Basingstoke Bison
2 Telford Tigers
3 Peterborough Phantoms
4 Guildford Flames
5 Milton Keynes Lightning
6 Swindon Wildcats
7 Bracknell Bees
8 Manchester Phoenix
9 Sheffield Steeldogs
10 Hull Pirates