Milestone man Ferrara is a local boy done good

Phantoms captain James Ferrara lifts the play-off trophy.
Phantoms captain James Ferrara lifts the play-off trophy.

Peterborough lad James Ferrara has grown into a Phantoms legend and now tops the club’s all-time appearance chart.

Ferrara equalled the 415 games managed by Shaun Yardley on Saturday night and then moved clear at the top of the all-time list the following night.

That’s quite some achievement for a player who is still only 27 and has spent three years of his hockey career elsewhere.

Ferrara said: “Just to pull on a Phantoms uniform and make my mark at senior level meant a lot to me. To have gone on and played so many games for such a great club is really pleasing.

“Shaun was the first guy to congratulate me and I wasn’t even aware I had equalled his record until he sent me that message.

“He is just one of a number of legendary guys to have served Phantoms so well in a big number of games.

“I owe this record to a lot of other people including my family as I have to give up a lot of time to time to be able to play ice hockey.

“I couldn’t have done it for so long without the great coaches I’ve played under and great team-mates I’ve had alongside me over the years.

“When I started out there were some great Peterborough players around and I learned from the likes of Doug McEwen, Jesse Hammill, Lewis Buckman and Jon Cotton to name a few.

“I also learned a lot of my leadership traits from Lewis, Dwayne Newman, Maris Ziedins and Jeff Glowa.

“I have made some great friends in the game as well, including a lot in the special group of players we currently have.”

Ferrara, the oldest of three Peterborough hockey-playing brothers, emerged from the Peterborough junior system to receive his first taste of senior hockey in the 2003-04 season.

He quickly made his mark to earn a move to Elite League big-guns Nottingham Panthers, where he spent more than three seasons before returning to Phantoms in 2009.

And he has been a permanent fixture at Planet Ice ever since, being handed the captaincy ahead of the 2013/14 season.

“There was nowhere else I wanted to go when I left Nottingham and it has been great to be here ever since,” added Ferrara.

Ferrara still has some way to go to become the all-time Peterborough record-holder. That honour currently belongs to Jason Porter, who racked up 585 appearances for Phantoms and their predecessors, Pirates.

Ferrara leads Phantoms into action against Guildford at home on Saturday (7pm) before facing a Sunday trip to Deeside to take on Manchester (6.30pm).