Anderson’s Vision for the Future
New Head Coach Simon Anderson
today laid out his vision for the Oxford City Stars and the juniors.
Simon returned to Oxpens
after two seasons coaching in Sweden with Svenstaviks HK.
He was confirmed as Head Coach of the Stars and the juniors on Saturday, assisted at junior level by former club captain Darren Elliott.
Simon is now working on
recruiting his squad for the Stars to compete in the NIHL Division One South –
a step up from last season – and create a strategy to introduce a junior
development pathway in the juniors.
Here at Stars’ HQ we caught
up with Simon for his first interview since his whirlwind return to Oxford.
“It was a very easy decision
to return,” he said.
“I really enjoyed my two seasons in Sweden, but I felt this was a good
opportunity to help the club build some foundations and try to get it back to
where it was in 2018.
“The club is very close to my
heart and the players and the fan base are second to none and all deserve the
Entertaining Ice Hockey
Asked what the fans can
expect next season in a higher league, Simon said: “It’s going to be a
lot of hard work.
“We’re in a very tough
league, but myself and Darren will recruit the best guys we possibly can.
“The Stars will be a fast
team, that plays attractive fast and entertaining hockey. Fans want to be
entertained and that’s our job as a coaching staff and players to provide
Proud to play for the
Simon stressed identifying
players with the right character is an important element of recruitment.
He said: “We will look for
players, who are really honoured to pull on the Stars’ jersey and play for the
club and the badge, and not for just the financial gain.
“Where we can, we will run a
younger roster, it’s important for us to develop our youth, for future
Juniors are the Future
Simon is aiming high as part
of the club’s five-year plan to create a successful junior development pathway.
He explained: “The
junior side of the club obviously needs a lot of work and time to develop.
“The Board’s vision is to
have players graduating from the juniors into the Stars consistently in five
years and it’s a brief I relish.
“My aim is for us to have a
predominantly Oxford based squad within five seasons. This maybe a lofty goal,
but it is one we will all strive for.
“I share the Board’s view
that it’s time for the talking to stop on this subject and action to be taken.
“If that means a little pain
then so be it, we must have the philosophy of short-term pain, long term gain
to achieve our ultimate goals.
“One thing is for sure; we
will not stop working until we get there.”