SIMON Anderson has been appointed head coach of Oxford City Stars for the fourth time.

The 51-year-old returns to Oxpens after taking a break from coaching since leaving the club in February 2020.

Anderson will work closely with head of hockey operations Shane Moore, who stepped in to take interim charge when Dean Birrell left Stars in March.

His last spell ended with a run of five defeats and he is desperate for success this time around.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to return to the club that I care about deeply and want to help bring back the good times,” Anderson said.

“I have been away from coaching for three years and I needed that time to have a break, recharge and take stock of where my coaching career could take me next.

“I had a couple of offers on the table from other teams, but when (directors) Greig (Box Turnbull), Jo (Mundy) and Shane approached me it just felt like the perfect opportunity for me to come back, right some wrongs and help move the club forward.

“There are a lot of things happening off of the ice which will benefit the on-ice product in the coming months and years and this opportunity excited me, particularly being able to work closely with Darren Elliott and Shane Moore to develop and recruit the best players possible for all levels of the club."

Anderson has already created a player recruitment plan for the summer as he aims to improve on Stars’ eight-placed finish in NIHL Division 1 South last season.

Director Greig Box Turnbull said: “Simon is a great coach who has the respect of everyone at the club.

"We know Simon well and believe he has the right attributes, experience and drive to help take the Stars forward.

“Simon understands and cares about the club and creates teams that play fast, attractive hockey via well-drilled systems.

"We now have the right foundations in place to push on and we hope to become stronger year on year.”

Fellow director Jo Mundy added: “We took our time to recruit properly and having spoken to various people we agreed Simon is the right person to help take the club forward.

"He has a strong CV and is fully committed to the cause.

"He has worked at the Stars before and knows the club well and understands who we are and where we want to go.

"We’re looking forward to working together.”