Forward Nathan Pollard is looking forward to Friday night’s opening league fixture against the Bees.

Pre-season saw the Phantoms win two games and lose two games. They won both of their away games against Raiders and Milton Keynes, but suffered one goal losses at the hands of both sides in the respective home games.

But there were positives to take for Slava’s side as the new faces settle in and everyone gets used to being back on the ice, preparing for another long and competitive season of NIHL National hockey.

“I think it was a good pre season for us, we played against two strong teams, and put in some really promising performances. The youngsters got lots of ice time and the new guys look great and seemed to fit right in with the team. We’re all excited to get the competitive games started now!” Pollard said.

The first weekend of the league campaign sees the Phantoms take on the Bees on home ice on Friday night, before they travel to Basingstoke to battle the Bison on Saturday.

“We’re really looking forward to starting this week, we want to put a marker down and show what we’re about. We set ourselves very high standards/targets and we need to do everything we can to achieve these!”

And Pollard is under no illusion as to the task that sits in front of the Phantoms, as they prepare for two hard fought fixtures on the opening weekend.

Polly said: “Both (Bees and Bison) are very hard working, physical teams. Bracknell are very direct and have picked up some good players in the off season with a new import and one of my old team mates, JJ Pitchley. So they will be stronger than last year going forward it will be a good battle against them. Basingstoke are very strong at home and come out hard from the first shift, we need to make sure that we outwork both of these teams and play the way that makes us successful and hard to play against!”

As the NIHL National gets underway, every team will be setting targets and goals for what they want to achieve this year. The goal at the Phantoms is always to challenge for silverware, and Pollard is excited to see what they can achieve over the course of the season.

“I don’t really set personal goals but making a difference every game and helping the team in any way that I can is always important, whether that’s scoring a goal, killing a penalty or relentless forechecking, contributing to the teams success is the only thing that really matters. I think as a team we want to be in the mix for every trophy available, Slava has built a really strong team with plenty of depth, and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can all achieve together this season!”

Tickets to Fridays home league opener against the Bees are on sale now. To purchase yours, click HERE! Doors will open at 6:30pm, ahead of a 7:30pm face off.

If you wish to travel on the team bus to Basingstoke with our friends at Phanforce, please email Mandy Cox on

The bus will be departing at 1:30pm on Saturday and will cost £12 for Phanforce members, £15 for non-members.

If you wish to join Phanforce, our Official Supporters Club, send them an email to grab a membership form!

Photo Credit: Tony Sargent

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