Dream comes true after 22 years for local lad James

Captain James Ferrara lifts the trophy in a rain of champagne. Photo: Alan Storer
Captain James Ferrara lifts the trophy in a rain of champagne. Photo: Alan Storer
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Sometimes sporting dreams do come true . . . just ask James Ferrara.

The Phantoms captain first strapped on a pair of skates in the Peterborough junior system at the age of five.

Now, 22 years later, the local lad has scored the clinching goal in an English Premier League Play-Off final and lifted the club’s first trophy for six years.

Ferrara said: “It was an amazing feeling to be part of a success like this and so very well deserved for the effort that has been put in on and off the ice by so many people.

“It was probably the worst goal I ever scored, but it brought the realisation that we were in an untouchable position in the last minute of the final and that the trophy was won.

“It means everything to emulate the other Peterborough captains who have lifted trophies.

“It is something I’ve always wanted to do since I first put on a pair of skates 22 years ago.

“I’ve had some special times down the years but this tops it all for me.

“This is the starting point for next season and we have to build from here and win more trophies.”

Ferrara, now 27, revealed the club’s triumph in Coventry last weekend was no quick job. The focus inside the Phantoms locker room has been on a successful play-off quest for several months.

And he believes their trophy-winning exploits atone for the misery of the previous season when the club was one of only two teams to miss out on a place in the battle for play-off honours.

Ferrara added: “Our focus has been on the play-offs since the turn of the year.

“We went out of the Challenge Cup early on and it was clear that no-one was going to stop Telford from winning the league.

“But we knew we had a special team this season and we knew anything was possible if we could get to the finals weekend.

“We executed our game-plans perfectly on both days and winning the trophy is a result of so much hard work.

“We could not have been better prepared. We battled to get the best finishing position we could in the regular season and came into the play-offs with a bit of momentum.

“The planning of the coaching staff has been fantastic and the players have all had the will to succeed.

“It was a horrid feeling to miss out on the play-offs last year, but we kept a core of the squad together.

“We all had extra hunger and fight to prove everyone wrong after what happened last season and we’ve done that.

“Our performances in all four play-off games were excellent. We have so many big-game players in the team it is ridiculous.

“Hopefully we can keep everyone together and enjoy another good era for Peterborough hockey.”