Dumas vows to strengthen as deadline nears
January 07, 2010
Claude Dumas is actively on the lookout to improve Bracknell Bees’ squad before the deadline to sign players passes at the end of this month.
So if the Bees player/coach intends to sign a player who will be available for the play-offs, should Bees make the top eight, then he will have to act quickly as the registration deadline is January 31.
The hot favourite to put pen to paper for Bracknell is Finnish forward Matti Hietakangas.
With the departure of Ryan Watt before Christmas, a space has opened up on Bees’ second line, and rumours are circulating that 26-year-old Hietakangas, who signed for the club at a similar stage last season, will make a return.
However, with the EPIHL running a four-import limit to each match-day squad, it means one of Bees’ other non-British trained players would have to make way.
It seems highly unlikely that it will be Czech forwards Jaroslav Cesky and Michal Pinc, the league’s most prolific pairing, while Lithuanian D-man Andrius Kaminskas has been one of only a few players to shine in a leaky Bees’ defence so far this campaign.
This leaves Canadian player/coach Dumas as the only likely contender, and he is keeping his cards close to his chest on the subject.
Also, with the club’s financial constraints, it seems unlikely that Bees will be able to afford a fifth import.
He has, however, admitted that the squad is in desperate need of some new blood, having lost six games on the spin prior to Sunday night’s 7-3 win over Swindon Wildcats.
He described the previous night’s performance, an 11-2 drubbing at the hands of Peterborough Phantoms as ‘unacceptable’ and vowed to scour the league in search of a player to help kickstart their season.
“Things have to happen, and in the next few weeks we are going to see if we can improve the team,” he said.
“All the players were responsible and to lose 11-2 shows that some players didn’t show up on the night.
“The fans pay to watch the game and that was unacceptable.
“There’s a (registration) deadline, though, and anything we can do to improve, we will do.
“All the other teams are improving and we don’t want to be left behind because there are still at least another 23 games left to play.
“We’re looking and we have a list of players and we will see what is available, but it is difficult at the moment because so many players are tied up.
“We are hopeful that there will be players interested.”
This weekend Bees make the long trip to Yorkshire to face Sheffield Scimitars on Saturday night (7.30pm face-off) and then host local rivals Guildford Flames on Sunday (6pm face-off).