GB boy Bradley a star of the future predicts Koulikov
Phantoms head coach Slava Koulikov has dished out glowing praise to hot defensive prospect Bradley Bowering.
The 16 year-old has starred in the opening weeks of the new season, helping the city club to reel off a nine-game winning streak and earning invitations to Great Britain Under 18 and Under 20 training camps.
Phantoms’ glorious run was extended by a 5-2 home success against Raiders and a 9-2 triumph at rock-bottom Invicta last weekend. The latter game featured the first two goals of the Deepings School pupil’s senior career.
“I’m really pleased with Bradley’s development,” said Koulikov.
“He doesn’t even turn 17 until the new year, but he has taken the step into senior hockey in his stride.
“I don’t have enough good words to say about him in all honesty.
“He already has everything required to star at this level and he definitely has the tools to play in the Elite League in the future providing he keeps his feet on the ground and continues to progress.
“His natural talent is huge and he possesses a great understanding of the game. The fact we have already put him on the powerplay shows the regard we hold him in.
“We always knew we had to invest in our junior system to create our own players and we’re seeing the benefits of that now.
“We’ve got other good young guys like Jarvis (Hunt), Jack (Escott), and Taylor (Romeo) coming through. Hopefully many more will follow suit and flourish in senior hockey in Peterborough.”
Bowering is certainly not the only player to impress for a Phantoms side in menacing form. They sit second in NIHL Division One South, four points behind leaders Bracknell with four games in hand, and are the only team yet to suffer a defeat in regulation time.
But they turn their attention to the NIHL Autumn Cup tomorrow (Friday) when welcoming Swindon to Planet Ice for a semi-final battle (7.30pm). The second leg follows in Wiltshire on November 9.
“Confidence is high at the moment and that’s always the case when a team is winning games of hockey,” added Koulikov.
“We’ve built up momentum in the last few weeks and we’re looking forward to our toughest test yet against Swindon.
“We all know they are the favourites for every piece of silverware, but we have nothing to lose.”
Phantoms are also at home on Sunday when entertaining reigning champions Basingstoke in a league clash (5.30pm).
Koulikov is hopeful of making a signing to replace axed forward Harry Ferguson in the coming days.