Staples joins the Stars
The 27-year-old Former Chelmsford Chieftain will link up with the squad after moving to the City in the summer.
Staples had already agreed to sign for Oxford a month ago prior to the uncertainty following the collapse of the NIHL1 Conference system, and has kept in touch with Club Captain Darren Elliott since then.
The defenseman with over 250 appearances for the incredibly successful Chieftains team of recent years joins Oxford and is expected to play a pivotal part in the Stars’ defensive core. Staples also brings leadership to the team, having been Assistant Captain of the Essex side last term.
Alex declared, “Oxford are a team that I’ve admired from afar over the last few seasons, and the team has been improving year on year and caused upsets against top sides in NIHL1. I’ve recently moved to the Oxford area and it wasn’t practical for me to keep playing at Chelmsford when you factor in travel and time commitments. I had a quick chat with Darren [Elliott] who I played with back at Chelmsford in 2011/2012, and I was sold! Oxford have a professional setup, doing a lot for hockey in the community, and most importantly have a great bunch of guys in the room. After talking to Darren it was simply a case of waiting for the league structure to be confirmed and then signing on the dotted line”.
Stars Head of Hockey Operations Darryl Morvan added “When Darren told me that Stapes was living in Oxford and interested in signing for the Stars it was a bit of a no-brainer to try to get him secured. He’s a proven athlete at NIHL1 level, and has played in an organisation which, as we are seeking to do, has developed talent from within and who play disciplined but attractive hockey. He’s going to be a good addition to the team not only for his playing ability but also in helping the younger players to develop, I know our supporters will welcome him and warm to him very quickly, and I’m looking forward to him turning out in a Stars jersey this year.”
New recruit Staples also wanted to pass on a message to his former team: “I’d also like to throw a quick thank you to the supporters, management and coaches that I’ve played for at Chelmsford over the years, all of whom supported me and shown a lot of faith in me since I first played for them way back in 2007. I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs with the club and those experiences have made me into not only the player I am today but also the person I am off the ice”.
Staples finished “Back to this coming season, despite the recent changes I’m still really looking forward to the new challenges that the season should bring. With the team that’s being built I’m sure there can be a lot of success at this level, with the ultimate aim of bringing some silverware to Oxford. Have a great summer and I’ll see you at the start of the season!”