RULE CHANGE: Phantoms will continue to back the Brits

Martins Susters has re-signed for Phantoms.
Martins Susters has re-signed for Phantoms.
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Peterborough Phantoms are to snub the chance of signing an extra import for the new English Premier League season – in favour of backing the Brits.

A new ruling, announced this morning (May 18), will allow EPL teams to ice five non-British trained players in games next season.

Robbie Ferrara has re-signed for Phantoms.

Robbie Ferrara has re-signed for Phantoms.

But Phantoms won’t be adding to their overseas ranks and will continue to operate with four imports as in previous campaigns.

The city club voted against the proposal when it was first discussed in April and were still not in favour when it was later revisited and passed.

Director of Hockey, Jon Kynaston said: “Our team was built around having our non-British trained players – as was initially agreed.

“The move to five imports subsequently came about, but our trust will be in the players we have recruited.

“Our commitment to British player development is stronger than ever and we believe it will be the foundation for success.”

Phantoms have persuaded Latvian netminding star Janis Auzins to return for a third season and also retained the services of Czech forward Ales Padelek.

It is understood Lithuanian forward Darius Pliskauskas and Czech maestro Milan Baranyk are also tied down on multi-year deals.

But Phantoms have also been strongly linked with the signing of Czech giant Petr Stepanek – a move which appeared as a completed transfer on the sport’s bible, Elite Prospects, before being removed. Club officials continue to refuse to comment on Stepanek.

Phantoms have been busy adding to their roster in recent days with the capture of highly-rated defenceman Tom Stubley, and the retention of two of their existing players.

Teenager Stubley impressed for the Hull Pirates in their debut season in the EPL and arrives with a glowing reference from Phantoms coach Slava Koulikov.

Robbie Ferrara will also return to the defensive ranks next season after agreeing a new two-year deal while exciting teenage forward Martins Susters is also back.

Koulikov said: “There is no doubt in my mind that Tom is the best British defenceman of his age.

“He has good skills and a great future ahead of him and that’s why I moved for him as soon as I knew he was available.”

“It is great to have Robbie back after the best season of his career. He plays simple but effective hockey and I’m glad we have his services for the next two years.

“Martins did well really well during a transition season as he got used to playing senior hockey. He will have more responsibility and a much bigger role this season.”

Stubley became the second Hull player to join Phantoms in quick succession after forward Sam Towner made the same switch last week.

Forward Brad Moore has moved in the opposite direction from Phantoms to Hull.