Buckman determined to bow out on a high for Phantoms

Jason Buckman reacts after taking a high stick to the face from former Phantom Lewis Hook of Milton Keynes.
Jason Buckman reacts after taking a high stick to the face from former Phantom Lewis Hook of Milton Keynes.
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One of the finest servants of Peterborough hockey hopes his career can come complete with a glorious finish.

Long-serving Jason Buckman has announced his retirement ahead of Phantoms’ English Premier League play-off quarter-final showdowns against Sheffield this weekend.

The second leg on Sunday night will be a milestone occasion for the 37 year-old forward-turned-defenceman, who is chasing a third play-off triumph with Phantoms.

Not only is it Buckman’s final home game in their colours, it will also be a 500th appearance in senior hockey for city sides.

“It will be a weekend of mixed emotions,” admitted Buckman. “But the main thing is making sure we get to the finals.

“I’ll have plenty of friends and family here on Sunday night and hopefully my career can finish on a high.

“There have been a lot of tough times – both in the Pirates and Phantoms days – but there have also been plenty of great ones as well.

“I’ve got some fantastic memories. Being part of the original, double-winning Phantoms team was brilliant and coming back to win the play-offs again towards the end of my career was also very special.

“A few people asked me why I didn’t bow out on a high after last season, but I had the hunger and desire to continue playing.

“I’ve had a few niggly injuries though during the course of this season and my body has been speaking to me. Now feels like the right time to call it a day.”

Buckman first burst into senior hockey in the late 1990s with Pirates before being part of that Phantoms team which announced its arrival in fine style back in 2003.

He also had a handful of outings for Nottingham Panthers in the Elite League, and represented both Chelmsford and Romford in the English National League, during a career which has spanned almost two decades.

Buckman returned to Phantoms during the 2013-14 campaign and he predicts a bright future lies ahead for the club in the coming years.

He added: “The club is in very safe hands with Dave and Jo Lane, and their management team.

“We have a terrific coach in Slava Koulikov and I don’t see any reason why Phantoms can’t go onto bigger and better things.

“We had a really good go at the league and cup this season, and just came up short in both competitions. I’m sure we’ll look back at a few results that didn’t go our way.”