Team Bath Buccaneers are bidding to end Premier wait
An overseas influx of players has given Team Bath Buccaneers a boost ahead of their latest attempt to finally gain promotion to the EHL Premier Division.
German under-21 player Nik Reiger has been recruited from Uhlenhorst and Irish international Stuart Loughrey has moved from Loughborough Students, while Australian Rob Zull arrives from Greensborough.
England under-18 players Sam Hatherly and Ben Mackay have also transferred from Havant and Welsh international Ben Carless has returned to Bath from university, as have Shaun Comley and Tom Woods.
Also back after several seasons' absence are Andy Machin and Pat Ost, who will be joined by two players promoted from last season's A squad – the improving Ieuan Davies and Thomas Sobey.
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Andy Howse has also signed from Premier League outfit Brooklands MU this week to send Buccs into Saturday's EHL Conference West opener at Cheltenham with confidence high.
Prior Park head of hockey Alan Hall has joined Jody Paul's coaching team at Buccs, who stormed to the league title last season but fell short in the promotion play-offs.
Some leading players from that campaign have moved on, with Welsh international Lewis Prosser turning professional with Madrid in the Spanish League and Phil Ball moving to the Bundesliga with Munich.
England under-21 ace Jonny Kinder has relocated to London after finishing his degree and will play for Wimbledon, while keeper James Bailey will line up with Reading.
Buccs – whose first home match is against potential title rivals Cardiff & UWIC on Sunday week – are sponsored for a third successive year by Corsham business management consultants Advalus.