Home-grown talent the only option for BeesBy Adam Lee
January 13, 2010
Any new recruits that Bracknell Bees sign before the registration deadline on January 31 will not be imports, according to player/coach Claude Dumas.
Rumours have been rife that Bees will sign a non-British-trained player to bolster their push for the EPIHL play-offs, with Finn Matti Hietekangas and Dumas’ former Telford Tigers team-mate Marek Hornak top of the fans’ wish-list.
However, Dumas has quashed those rumours by suggesting that the club simply does not have the resources to include a fifth import in their squad.
Bees almost went bust last year, and as a cost-cutting measure over the summer, appointed Canadian Dumas to fill the roles of both coach and import.
The club also acted to capture the signatures of Czech duo Jaroslav Cesky and Michal Pinc, and took their import quota to four with defenceman Andrius Kaminskas after their original D-man Chad Euverman pulled out at the 11th hour.
The previous season Bees had four imports on their books, as well as a British player/coach in Adam Bicknell, but this proved to be a huge drain on the club’s resources.
And with an even stricter budget this season, Dumas said that any activity in the market from now on will be entirely British-based.
With only four imports allowed in a match-day squad, Bees cannot afford to be paying a costly import and then leaving him out of the squad if he is fully fit.
But 43-year-old forward Dumas, who celebrated his birthday by leading his team to a 3-2 win away at Sheffield Scimitars on Saturday night, insists that the club’s rigid pay-structure means it is on a more solid financial footing.
“With the options we have at the club, (any signings) will probably have to be British,” said Dumas.
“Not many teams carry an extra import, and although injuries can happen, an extra import would be a lot for us and it’s just not something that we are capable of doing.
“We are talking, but with the weather as it is, it’s been hard. We need the right kind of player and, at the moment, most of the right players are already with teams.
“We haven’t really been able to speak about it any further, but hopefully we’ll sit down soon.
“We know the deadline is coming up and we’re going to put a list of a few names together and see if we can get them.
“If a good forward or a good D come along then we will consider signing players for either position.
“We went with what we had at the start of the season and we have kept to that, which is the way to run the business side of things.
“We have been sensible and we have followed a budget and that’s the reason we are still here.
“I was given a certain budget which I have followed because I don’t want to put the team into further dificulties.
“The people here know what they are doing and they have created a steady ship.”
Bees made it two wins from three games in 2010 with a stunning display at Sheffield on Saturday night.
Goals from Pinc, Nicky Watt and a first goal for the club from D-man Carl Graham made sure of the victory for Bees as they look to move away from ninth-placed Swindon Wildcats and close the gap on the mid-table teams.
Captain Terry Miles was also named man of the match for a committed display, and earned the praise of his coach in the process.
And with Sunday’s fixture against Guildford Flames postponed due to the icy conditions at the John Nike Lesiuresport Complex, Dumas knew that his team needed the points on Saturday.
They were also determined to get their longest away trip of the season out of the way so they wouldn’t have to make it on a week day evening later in the season.
“I thought defensively it was one of our best games this year and the shots were 37-35 which was very good,” said Dumas.
“It was a very close game, as you would expect, and it was a good win for us.
“We have to be focused perhaps more than other teams in the league have to be and when we do that we are more controlled on the ice and cut out the mistakes.
“(Miles) played very well, but then so did everybody. He applied himself and did what had to be done for us to win the game.
“You look to your leader in games like this and he is definitely a leader in our team.
“He’s not the guy who will get a lot of goals like Cesky, but when it is a close game as it was on Saturday we need players like him to lead by example.
“We kept in touch (with Sheffield Scimitars) on Thursday so I knew the game would go ahead.
“We wanted to go ahead with it because it is a long way to go back there for a rearranged game, especially during the week.
“We didn’t want two games called off in a weekend and have to catch up later in the season.
“It’s so slippery around the ice rink (at Bracknell) and although people probably could have got there, it was too dangerous with all the ice.
“We knew quite early on that it would happen, though and because we knew we would only have one game this weekend, it maybe made us want the two points on Saturday even more.
“It felt good to win and it meant that we could relax a little bit (on Sunday).”
Bees face Sheffield again on Saturday when the Scimitars travel to the Hive (6pm face-off) and then the following night, Dumas’ men make the trip to Buckinghamshire to face title-challenging MK Lightning for the fifth time this season (7pm face-off).