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Guildford Flames face 'biggest shake up in club's history'

3 minute read
Guildford Flames face 'biggest shake up in club's history'

Published at 3:01pm 24th February 2017. (Updated at 3:14pm 24th February 2017)

After 25 years on ice, the Guildford Flames face their biggest ever shake up.

From next season they'll be competing in the Elite Ice Hockey League, the UK's highest division.

It's a big step up from the current English Premier League and we're told there will be more changes to the current squad than ever before.

Currently the Flames have five foreign players, in the EIHL there is usually between 13 and 14 which allows for a more open pick to improve quality.

The club hope for an increase in attendance, but with this comes an increase in ticket prices.

We've been told this won't be too drastic though, with a rise of just a couple of pounds.

So why the move?

Unlike football or other similar sports, the Guildford Flames don't have to win the EPL to be promoted to the EIHL.

Instead the club had to apply for promotion, which they have done successfully.

Jez Lundin

(Jez Lundin, current Flames captain)

Kirk Humphreys, Chief Operating Officer says the uncertain future of the current EPL is why they have decided to move: "The last few years we have thought about making a change, we're not sure where this league is going to be.

"We don't want to be in a position where there is a chance there won't be ice hockey in Guildford next season.

"Now we've taken steps to make sure that won't happen."

The Flames will be joined by fellow EPL member Milton Keynes Lightning in making 12 teams at the country’s ice hockey summit alongside Belfast Giants, Nottingham Panthers, Sheffield Steelers, Cardiff Devils, Coventry Blaze, Manchester Storm, Dundee Stars, Edinburgh Capitals, Fife Flyers and Braehead Clan.  

"Moving to the top flight of domestic pro hockey is unquestionably a step up to a faster game with a much deeper talent pool than we currently enjoy, particularly with a slightly younger generation of players who are far less attracted to the EPL than they are to the country’s top flight." Kirk continued.

"We are excited to move forward with the certainty and the step up in quality of play that the top league offers to our club and our fans."

Flames

 

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