OXFORD City Stars are aiming to sign a ‘new generation’ of players this summer to help improve on a disappointing 2021/22.

The Oxpens outfit have already announced that Ross Miller, Chris Cooke and Tom Ravenscroft will stay on for 2022/23, while Brad Watchorn became the club’s first new arrival last month.

Stars are set to announce several more signings, including members of last season’s squad and new faces.

READ MORE: Tom Ravenscroft re-signs for hometown club Oxford City Stars

It comes after they finished comfortably second bottom of NIHL Division 1 South last season, with head coach Dean Birrell leaving in March.

He has since been replaced by Simon Anderson, back at Oxpens for his fourth spell in charge, and the boss has wasted no time in preparing for the new campaign.

The 51-year-old came armed with a player recruitment plan and director Greig Box Turnbull revealed Stars have a clear idea of how this can help them move forward.

“Fans will see some changes,” he said.

“Simon and Shane Moore (head of hockey operations) are working very hard with (director) Jo Mundy on recruitment.

“Simon has told us the way he wants to play and then it’s a case of players fitting that mould.

“It’s about getting the composition right, the mix of young and old, and getting them to buy into our culture.

“For whatever reason, last season was challenging and we need a culture change as much as a personnel change.

“We want to retain the quality in our squad, but we need to build a new generation.”

Last season presented unique challenges, with clubs returning to competitive matches for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic halted proceedings in March 2020.

Stars struggled to piece together a run of form and Birrell left with his side on a four-match losing run and well adrift of seventh place.

They were not helped by the departure of influential forward Mike Whillock, who moved to Sweden in October.

The stalwart was among an older generation of familiar faces at Oxpens, which Stars hope to mix with young talent.

It does not rule out recruiting experienced players like 32-year-old Watchorn, but Box Turnbull also wants the club to be an attractive destination for young prospects.

“In some respects we’re a club in transition,” he said.

“We’re retaining quality from last season and looking to sign ambitious young players who need their first or second break.

“We can offer them the opportunity to play.

“They’ll be in the first team, playing in front of a passionate crowd. They’ll be looked after and developed.

“With the older players, it’s about finding ones who have played at higher levels.

“We’re doing little things behind the scenes to try to make the club as attractive as possible to players.”