ICE HOCKEY: Slava signs former team-mate Archer

James Archer has signed for Phantoms.

James Archer has signed for Phantoms.

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Phantoms coach Slava Koulikov has wasted no time in making a former team-mate his first capture for 2016/17.

Koulikov has handed prolific forward James Archer a return to what he calls his ‘home away from home’.

The 27 year-old started his senior career in Phantoms colours more than a decade ago and returns as a proven performer on the English Premier League stage.

Archer is also no stranger to success after landing two league titles and one play-off crown during a six-year stay with previous club Manchester Phoenix, where he spent time playing alongside Koulikov.

The Phantoms chief said: “I am very, very pleased to get James on board as our first signing for next season.

“He is someone I know very well and I know exactly what I’m going to get from him.

“He plays with his heart on his sleeve in every shift and he scores goals.

“It is not easy to find prolific forwards at this level, but James is certainly one of them.

“He is only 27, but he has stacks of experience which will be a big help to us.”

And Archer is relishing the prospect of pulling on a Phantoms jersey again in September for the first time since 2008.

Archer said: “Peterborough gave me my first taste of senior hockey when I was 15 and it is great to be back.

“I made plenty of friends during my time in the city who myself and my family still keep in touch with now. Peterborough used to be my home away from home.

“I really like what Slava is doing at the club and where he wants to take it.

“Having played with him in Manchester, I know what to expect from him and also what he will expect from me.

“Phantoms are coming off a fantastic year in finishing as runners-up in the league, reaching the EPL Cup final and the play-off semi-finals.

“I’m looking forward to the new challenge and hopefully I can help bring some trophies back to Bretton.”

Archer managed a career-best 62 points in the 2006-07 campaign when a Phantoms player and has managed to exceed a half-century in a season on three other occasions – twice with Phoenix and once when starring for now defunct hometown side Sheffield Scimitars.