Following the NIHL LMC meeting on Sunday (20th May 2018), we can confirm the Oxford City Stars will be competing in the NIHL2 South (Wilkinson) division for the 2018/19 season.
We look forward to renewing rivalries with the 13 teams we competed against last season, and welcome London Raiders 2 to the division – a great addition to the UK hockey family, and we look forward to playing them.
The Board appreciates some fans had hoped we would apply for promotion to NIHL1, following the team’s success last season, and this news may come as a disappointment. With that in mind, we invite all fans to voice their opinions, and we respect all views put forward in a reasoned way.
Oxford City Stars is two years into a five-year plan to compete at a higher level on a self-sufficient and sustainable basis, and that firmly remains the goal. The club needs to continue building its fan-base, attract more commercial partners, develop in the community and improve the junior pathway to first team hockey. The club has made strong strides in two years and needs to develop further to make the step up sustainably.
Competing in NIHL1 would require a significantly higher playing budget and more ice time, both of which the club cannot currently sustain financially. The club remains committed to striving to meet its five-year plan and will continue to work on key initiatives aimed at making our ambition a reality. We want to be able to compete at a higher level, and do so on a sustainable footing, and this will take further building.
For now, we will continue to work hard over the summer to develop the club and enter a new season together in September with renewed optimism.