DARREN Elliott has called for togetherness as Oxford City Stars embark on a new era.

The National Ice Hockey League club recently unveiled their plan to have a more of a pathway from the junior ranks into the senior squad.

It has seen Simon Anderson return as head coach of both, with club legend Elliott his assistant.

The 38-year-old, who has a testimonial match on June 16, spent 26 seasons playing at Oxpens.

He started out in the youth ranks, so the veteran is well aware of the value from a strong link between the age groups.

He said: “I hope that it is the beginning of a new, stronger working relationship between the Stars and the juniors.

“Ultimately this means we need to provide a steady programme of development from the lowest ages upwards, so that we become competitive in all age groups in the future.

“We need to create a junior development pathway and a development team for future home-grown players to progress into.

“It is a massive challenge, but we can make progress.”

While Elliott is hanging up his skates after next weekend’s farewell, he jumped at the chance to remain involved as part of the changes put in place by a new board.

He said: “Oxford means the world to me and I know first-hand just how important being given an opportunity and guidance at a young age is.

“That’s why I want to continue to help in the juniors and took on the deputy role.

“It will enable me to give something back and hopefully help nurture new players through.

“Unless Oxford focus on creating a genuine development pathway, we will struggle to produce players of our own.”