OXFORD City Stars’s new-look board have designs on creating a sustainable future with youth at the heart of it.
The National Ice Hockey League (NIHL) club’s revised vision sets out a host of plans, including a three-five year player development initiative and enhancing their community programme.
Director Greig Box Turnbull, general manager Jo Mundy and local businessman Grant Shergold have formed a new executive board.
They have wasted little time in bringing back Simon Anderson, who left Stars in 2017 following the restructuring of the NIHL, as head coach.
Club legend Darren Elliott will be his assistant, with the duo involved in developing the club’s young players as part of a joined-up youth pathway.
Stars, who will also be moving up to Division 1 South next season, have become a not-for-profit organisation, allowing any surplus funds to be reinvested into developing the club.
Box Turnbull, Oxford United’s former managing director, is eyeing a bright future.
He said: “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.”
Mundy, whose three sons Josh, Jake and Max Florey play for Stars, added: “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.”
Elliott had intended to take a year out after retiring from playing last season. But said the opportunity to be a part of Stars’s new vision was hard to turn down.
Elliott added: “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.”
Assistant coach Scott Gough, who was also a board member, and juniors head coach Jeff Sykora have stepped down from their roles due to personal commitments.