OXFORD City Stars welcome champions Streatham Redhawks to Oxpens in their first home game of the season.

Simon Anderson’s side host the capital club in their Britton Cup opener on Sunday, September 18 (6.15pm).

Stars begin their NIHL Division 1 South campaign at Slough Jets the previous day (6.30pm).

The Berkshire side are also the opponents in their opening home league game, on Sunday, September 25.

Division 1 South has been reduced from nine teams to eight following Bristol Pitbulls’ promotion to the National Division. Stars will face each opponent four times, twice at home and twice away.

The season ends with a trip to Chelmsford Chieftains on Sunday, March 26, before the play-offs take place in the following weeks.

Meanwhile, Greg Blais has returned to Stars as netminder coach.

The 42-year-old will be registered to play if required and will work closely with Ross Miller and Aaron Burton.

Blais has competed at a high level in multiple countries including Canada, America, Belgium and Norway, while he has turned out for Cardiff Devils, Telford Tigers and London Raiders in the UK.

He said: “I am pleased to be back in Oxford for this coming season.

“Simon and Shane (Moore, head of hockey operations) are doing a fantastic job building a strong team that will be competitive.

“I am looking forward to working together with Ross and Aaron as goalie partners.

“I bring experience to the team, having played in North America and throughout Europe at the Elite level.

“I will battle each practice to get some playing time. I cannot wait to get back on the ice and meet the Oxford City Stars fans.”

Anderson added: “I am excited to have Greg on board for next season.

“He has an unbelievable resume and his experience will be immense for the whole club in an on and off ice capacity.

“He still has a massive desire to play this great game and will add another layer of competition to our already impressive netminding group.

“Greg will also be a great asset to the club in terms of being a great mentor to our younger players throughout the whole organisation.”

Meanwhile, Stars beat Oxford Rising Stars 5-2 in an exhibition match at Oxpens.