O’Connor is back to boost Banbury for new season

Steve O'Connor is back for Banbury this season

Steve O'Connor is back for Banbury this season

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Banbury enjoyed an extraordinary tail-end to last season, winning the EH National Mixed Cup at the Olympic Stadium.

And some of those players will be lining up for Banbury in the new South Premier Hockey League campaign which starts on Saturday.

Last season we thought Steve O’Connor would be irreplaceable but Kieran Symons is a making a good start to prove us wrong

Coach Matt Bull

Coach Matt Bull and manager Steve Brooker are looking forward to the new campaign against teams including Guildford, Bromley and Beckenham, who were relegated from the National League.

Banbury travel to Spencer for their opening division one fixture on Saturday.

Brooker said: “We have been able to strengthen the squad with former junior players Kyle White and Joe Cooper returning to bring additional fire power to our forward line and Rhys Potter has returned to provide an extra option for our defensive line.”

Bull welcomed the return of captain Steve O’Connor after he missed the whole of last season following surgery to repair a serious knee injury.

His replacement Aussie stalwart Kierean Symons is already settling into bolster the established midfield quintet for O’Connor, Richard Foreman, Richard Hobley, Ian Reynolds and George Brooker.

Bull said: “Last season we thought that Steve [O’Connor] would be irreplaceable but Kieran [Symons] is making a good start to prove us wrong with some really strong performances in pre-season.”

Scott Reynolds and Harry Loxton have recovered from injuries picked up over the summer and Harry Brooker is fast recovering from the bizarre injury incurred falling out of a tuc-tuc in India.

Josh Nunneley and Tyson Nunneley, together with Louis Harris, James Long, Peter Lamb and Harry Camp return to the backline and Simon Boardman and Barney Williams will play up front with the returning players.