ICE HOCKEY: Two more new signings for the Phantoms

New Phantoms signing Sam Towner.

New Phantoms signing Sam Towner.

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Phantoms have continued their summer overhaul with the capture of two new forwards in recent days.

Coach Slava Koulikov has finally enjoyed success in his long pursuit of the highly-rated Sam Towner.

The 21 year-old impressed for the new Hull Pirates side at English Premier League level last season with eight goals and 19 assists.

He had previously spent three years in the Elite League with the now defunct Stingrays set-up in the same city.

Koulikov said: “I have followed Sam’s development for a few years now and all the coaches who have worked with him at club and GB level have said the same thing – that he is a true professional.

“We actually agreed a deal with him last summer after Hull Stingrays pulled out of the Elite League. But, when the Pirates formed in the EPL, we agreed by mutual consent that he would stay in Hull.

“I’m very happy to get him signed now though and I’m sure the fans will love his never-say-die attitude. He is a smart two-way hockey player and is very mature for his age.”

Towner is a former GB Under 20 international who helped the national side win gold in their World Championship event back in 2014.

His arrival at Planet Ice follows on swiftly from that of a current member of the GB Under 20 squad. Teenager Connor Glossop has been snapped up from Nottingham Lions, who play two levels below Phantoms. He hit 19 goals and 20 assists in National League Division Two last season.

He also impressed Koulikov, who is now an assistant coach of the GB Under 20 set-up, while on international duty.

“Connor caught the eye of a lot of EPL clubs last season, and I’m glad he has decided to join us,” added Koulikov.

“He has some good stats and a good attitude as well as the desire to step up to a higher level. All of those qualities fit in well in our structure.”

Koulikov has now drafted in three new forwards this summer with James Archer also arriving from EPL rivals Manchester Phoenix.

Phantoms are understood to have captured Czech giant Petr Stepanek as well although club officials refuse to confirm or deny that deal.