The Peterborough Phantoms’ Board of Directors would like to offer some clarity, to you – our supporters, surrounding our recent enforced roster changes.

As everyone knows, the club are facing challenges with injuries and this has been an issue which has been present in every match we have played so far this season, right from the opening pre-season challenge game in Milton Keynes. Slava hasn’t had his full roster available yet this season due to injury and now COVID-related absence, with the weekend just gone presenting the biggest challenge of the season so far.

The current situation from within the Phantoms squad is as follows…

#21 Luc Johnson – INJURED – lower body injury, no return date yet.

#25 Billy Thorpe – INJURED – lower body injury, expected to be back in 2-3 weeks.

#29 Will Weldon – INJURED – upper body injury, currently due to return to the ice in a couple of weeks, providing there are no further delays or complications with the injury.

#71 Corey McEwen – INJURED – lower body injury, due to return to the ice in the coming week, could be back in the lineup this weekend. 

#91 Nathan Salem – INJURED – upper body injury, expected to be out for around another 4-6 weeks. 

To add to the above injuries, the players below unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, during a routine COVID-19 Lateral Flow Test, which led to their absence this weekend. These players will return to the lineup once they have tested negative and served their time of self-isolation, clearing the Club’s COVID-protocol.

#23 Brad Bowering 

#35 Joe Gretton 

#75 Ross Clarke 

#90 Tom Barry 

As a club we are taking every precaution in order to prevent our players catching/transmitting Covid 19. Our players have to do Lateral Flow tests before each training session and game in order to minimise the risk to the squad. As with all of the teams in our league, we all want the season to continue and don;t want to hav to go into team shutdowns as they do in the Elite league.

It has also been well documented that we are looking to bring in a second European import, a process we have been going through since just before the start of the season when the EIHA informed us of the license requirements. As the UK is no longer in the EU, the free movement of workers has been removed. In order to now employ a person from the EU, companies need to hold a sponsorship license. The process of obtaining the license takes just over 3 months, and we now have this required license. This is a one-off peice of work, so future seasons should be easier and less stressful!

The new player can only apply for their work visa once the club has their license, as the license numner needs to be on the application. Just when we believed we were in the final stages of the process, the players’ country went into lockdown, meaning he wasn’t able to travel to collect the relevant paperwork for the process to be completed. However, our commitment to bringing in a second import remains and we are hoping to be able to announce their arrival in the coming weeks.  

The final point we would like to cover is surrounding a league rule change around players aged over 23 being allowed to play in more than three games for a different team. The previous rule would have meant Conor Pollard has now played his maximum number of games for the Phantoms 1 team this season. However, that rule has been ammended as of the 31/12/21 due to COVID.

The new ruling states that players from within the same club can play up and down between their teams as many times as is necessary to cover for players with Covid, meaning the likes of Conor Pollard, Jordan Liddell and any of the Phantoms NIHL 2 players are able to play up with Slava’s first team when available and needed.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our fans for their continued support and patience during a season which has thrown out unique challenges which we’ve never faced before as a club, let alone as new owners. We’re looking forward to welcoming our absent players back into the lineup and the ownership group, the staff and the players remain committed to ensuring a strong second half of the season.