OXFORD CITY STARS ANNOUNCE NEW OWNERSHIP AND APPOINT NEW COACHING SET-UP
Oxford City Stars have today announced a new Executive Board at the ice hockey club.
The Board confirmed its new strategy to make the club sustainable and create a youth development pathway.
Greig Box Turnbull and Jo Mundy have stepped up to manage the club with immediate effect, to provide the Stars with continuity. They are joined by Grant Shergold, Local Business Manager of Metro Bank in Oxford, who has an excellent track-record in the Oxfordshire commercial sector. Previous Board member and Assistant Coach Scott Gough has stepped down due to other commitments. The club is grateful for Scott’s contribution.
Greig, the former Oxford United Managing Director and founder of Oxford based PR agency Fortitude Communications has been a director at the Stars for the past two years. Jo, whose three sons Josh, Jake and Max Florey play for the Stars, has been the Stars general manager for the past year and on the committee of the juniors for the past three years.
They have moved quickly to secure the return of Simon Anderson as Head Coach, after he moved back to the UK following a stint coaching in Sweden. Recently retired Darren Elliott has been appointed as Assistant Coach of the juniors and will support the Stars on a flexible basis. Anderson and Elliott will head-up a major shake-up of coaching at the club. They will coach both the Stars and the juniors, as part of the Board’s vision to create a joined-up youth development pathway.
It was also confirmed the club will upgrade to play in the NIHL Division One South.
The new Board set out a renewed vision for the Stars:
*Youth Development: to align the Stars with the Junior Club and create a structured coaching development pathway for young players.
*Competitive: create a budget and build a squad to be competitive in the new look NIHL1.
*Sustainable: devise a robust commercial strategy to make the Stars sustainable.
*Club first approach: Stars becomes a registered not for profit organisation, meaning any surplus funds will be reinvested into developing the club.
*Community: enhance the community programme and increase partnerships with schools and local football clubs.
*Inclusive: develop and promote a culture at the Stars where everyone is welcome and respected.
Greig said: “The Oxford City Stars is a wonderful club and it’s a great privilege to step up and fully lead it with Jo and Grant.
“Our key focus is ensuring the club is sustainable and provides entertaining ice hockey in a family friendly environment. For the club to survive we need to work hard to increase our commercial partners and fan-base.
“We will strive to make sure the club is community focused and takes a partnership approach commercially. We’re still building our off-ice team and are looking for additional support, if anyone would like to help, we’d encourage them to get in touch.
“We believe Simon and Darren are the right coaching team to take the club forward. They understand the club and the culture we want to instil and over time, we hope, will enable us to develop the next generation of home-grown players.”
Jo said: “It’s an honour to present the club at Board level and we will work hard to make the Stars a club the community and everyone associated with it can be proud of.
“A major part of our strategy is youth development and we are delighted to have appointed a coaching team that will oversee all ages. This is a three to five-year plan designed to enable Oxford to produce players of the future.
“It’s a big challenge and we hope the community gets behind the Stars and helps us make the club economically viable for years to come.”
Grant said: “I’m very proud to be part of the Oxfordshire community and I share the values and vision of the Board at the Stars. I’m Oxford born and bred and have worked in the city all my adult life and will be looking to use my business experience and contacts to help the club in any way I can. I am delighted to join the club and I am looking forward to supporting the new vision.”
Simon said: “When the new ownership Board outlined their vision to me it was an opportunity that really appealed to me.
“Oxford is a special club to me, and I’m delighted to be returning. The opportunity to work on a strategy across the senior and junior ranks and really build something is a fantastic challenge.”
Darren said: “The club means the world to me and while I’d planned to take a year out this is a pivotal time for Oxford. The new vision is a big opportunity to really make a difference and when I was asked to be involved it was very hard to say no. Coaching and supporting the junior players is something I’m passionate about, as it is the pathway that supported me into becoming a player. The juniors will be my key focus, but I’ll also help the Stars where possible.”
Jeff Sykora has stepped down as Head Coach of the juniors due to family commitments. The juniors and the Stars thank Jeff for his contribution.