The big play-off victory was no flash in the pan

Captain James Ferrara celebrates Phantoms'  play-off success last season. Picture: Alan Storer

Captain James Ferrara celebrates Phantoms' play-off success last season. Picture: Alan Storer

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Captain James Ferrara insists the Phantoms players are determined to prove their play-off success was not a flash in the fan.

The city club emerged from several years in the English Premier League doldrums to collect a fourth-placed finish last term before powering to end-of-season honours.

Ferrara said: “We tasted what it is like to win silverware last season and we are all hungry for more.

“We over-achieved in the eyes of a lot of people, but our challenge is to prove that wasn’t the case.

“We need to find the right level of consistency to pick up results again. If a team wins half their games, chances are they’ll finish somewhere close to mid-table.

“Home form is going to be really important and we need to continue turning our rink into a fortress and giving the fans something to shout about.”

They certainly did that last weekend when coming from behind to sink arch-rivals Milton Keynes 9-7 on aggregate and lift the traditional pre-season Ashes prize.

And while bigger challenges lie ahead, Ferrara admits it was pleasing to be able to show off more silverware to their supporters.

He added: “It was nice to win the Ashes at the weekend to give ourselves a confidence boost going into the new season.

“We had guys step up at the right time and that should stand us in good stead.

“The signs are already there that we can have another good season. There were glimpses of what we are going to be about during the pre-season games and now it is about delivering for 60 minutes every night.

“The new guys have settled right in. The fact so many of the players were part of the success last season means the togetherness is already there.

“We have a lot of hard-workers and honest guys in that dressing room and they give their all every single time they take to the ice.”