SUSTERS: “I’M PLAYING WITH A SMILE ON MY FACE!”

SUSTERS: “I’M PLAYING WITH A SMILE ON MY FACE!”

It’s been a very productive season for Phantoms forward, Martins Susters, and he is enjoying his hockey in a Phantoms jersey. The Phantoms #77 is looking forward to another tough weekend with a double header against the Basingstoke Bison coming up. 

The gruelling schedule continues to throw out difficult fixtures for the Phantoms after three games in four days last week. Phantoms fought the fatigue to claim three wins in their three games last week and Susters enjoyed every minute of it. 

“Three games in four days sounds like a lot but I enjoyed every minute of all of them! I felt great after all the games.” Susters said. 

Susters is around the 50-point mark for the season and is clearly enjoying his hockey this term. He thinks, when you’re enjoying yourself and playing with confidence, the performances come more naturally. 

“You’re right, I am playing with a smile and enjoying hockey! Of course, I am very happy when we are winning. When there is a lot of confidence then games are played so much easier. You don’t really think about anything too much because it just all happens naturally.” Said Phantoms’ Latvian born forward. 

“I have my personal goals which I do set for myself for the season. However, I keep it to myself and I like to keep moving forward with little steps – that’s my motto.” He continued. 

Up next in the NIHL National is a double header against the Basingstoke Bison. Phantoms travel to Basingstoke to take on the Herd on Saturday night, before Ashley Tait’s side visit Peterborough on Sunday night

“It should be fun to play the same team twice in a weekend! We are fighting for the 3rd place between them and us. So, it would be huge if we could come out on top in those 2 games. If we play the way we played last week, I don’t see why we can’t give ourselves a good chance of doing it!” Susters said. 

And, with the National Cup semi-final second leg coming up, Susters thinks a pair of positive results at the weekend would be the perfect preparation for another huge game for Slava Koulikov and his team. 

Susters said: “Winning both games at the weekend would be huge for us. Also doing that we would be going into cup game with everyone feeling very confident so hopefully we can do it.”

Last Thursday’s 4-2 win over Hull in the first leg of the cup semi-final was seen by many as the best performance of the year so far. Phantoms have tended to struggle in Hull and Susters thinks the team got their rewards for sticking to the game plan set by Coach Koulikov. 

“It was a huge win for us in Hull on Thursday. I think that was our first win at their place this season. We did everything Slava asked and the results shows his plan worked. Last week you could see all of us put extra work in to grind out the results so if we come in with the right mindset next Friday and battle for 60 minutes, we have a very good chance of making the final.” Said Susters. 

And Susters had the following message for the Phantoms fans:

“The fans have been great all season and we all appreciate what they do for us! Especially when we have all these big games coming up, we need them to be even louder because the atmosphere is unreal when they are loud, and it brings out the best of us and gives that extra bit of energy that is important in the big games.”

If you’d like to travel to Basingstoke on Saturday to support the Phantoms against the Bison, email travel@gophantoms.co.uk to book your seat on the team bus! 

If you can’t make it to the game, match updates will appear on the Phantoms Twitter account – @GoPhantoms.

Tickets to Sunday’s home game against the Bison are available HERE, or from the Planet Ice Box Office upon arrival at the rink. Doors open at 4:30pm, with face off taking place at 5:30pm.

GO PHANTOMS!