BASINGSTOKE, UK – The Bison have announced their first signing for the coming campaign with the return of Canadian forward Joe Rand.
The 26-year-old had a great season with the Herd which did not go unnoticed by fans and supporters alike as he picked up the Players’ Player and Supporters Club Player of the Year.
Rand hails from Hamilton, Ontario but is currently based in the Hampshire’s capital city of Winchester just a few miles from Basingstoke, but will be spending some time back in Canada before the new season starts.
Last season, the forward returned 50 points league points hitting the net 20 times, but the points did not reflect his importance to the team and hence why he was a great first signing for player/coach Doug Sheppard so soon after the loss of top Brits Stevie Lyle and Greg Owen.
He is a work horse who will give 100 per cent every night and Sheppard believes he will be even better in his second season in a Bison jersey.
“Randy had some time making the transition last year, but this time around he will do well right off the bat and I think he will improve on his points tally.
“He is great first signing and one I am sure the fans will be happy with and for me the fact he can play at centre or wing helps a lot,” said Bison boss Sheppard.
Rand moved up from the Wightlink Raiders in the ENL to the EPL last term and also felt he took time to adjust to the second tier of the game in Britain.
“I had to make an adjustment last year, but I come back knowing the systems and also a lot of my team mates so I am really looking to the season.
“I still have the bad taste in my mouth from just missing out on all three trophies, so I hope we can put that right this season and win some silverware,” said the returning Rand.
The signing of Rand is the first of what is expected to be a good crop of resignings and will give Bison fans something to cheer about for once following the news that starting netminder Stevie Lyle has joined the Herd’s rivals Swindon Wildcats and top British forward Greg Owen has decided to retire after the World Championships in which he is currently playing.
They are to big holes in the roster, but Sheppard who coached the side to their best ever finish after a great summer of recruiting.
He will have to do the same again.
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