PETR Cech ‘turned a few heads’ with a speech during his home debut for Oxford City Stars.

The former Chelsea goalkeeper made a number of key saves as Stars fell to a 4-2 defeat against Solent Devils in NIHL Division 1 South.

After going 2-0 down, Stars hit back to draw level, however a Mason Wild strike nudged Solent in front again with just 25 seconds remaining in the second period.

It led to Cech delivering a rousing speech to his teammates before they reappeared for the final 20 minutes.

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Marcus Mitchell, who played alongside Cech at Guildford Phoenix, said: “He’s an absolute beauty. I’ve been with him a few years, so we do get on really well.

“He’s got the experience unlike anyone else. You name it, he’s won everything at club level.

“When we’re down, like after the second, he came out with a big speech and it turned a few heads and brought us back together. His experience is unbelievable.”

Mitchell also highlighted the positive impact Cech can have off the ice, not just for the Stars, but the sport across the country.

He said: “Bringing in a name like that in a big city like this is going to draw attention, not only to our club, but ice hockey in general.

“People will see it from wherever they are and might check out an ice hockey game. It’s a win-win.

“Merchandise has probably been the best it’s ever been in the last two games and that’s exactly what we’re here to do, to build this sport in this city.

“We’re taking great steps in the right direction.”

Mitchell was named Stars man of the match against Solent, as the hosts put in an improved display overall.

An opening night 5-1 defeat at Chelmsford Chieftains was followed by a 6-0 beating at home to Slough Jets, prior to the Solent clash.

“We changed a lot of our game. A lot of what we were doing wasn’t really working so in practise, there were a lot of changes,” said Mitchell.

“We’re still settling into the systems, but in general, they’re coming together.

“We’ve just got to keep at it, and we’ll start getting them results.

“Stuff doesn’t happen overnight. You spend the whole summer building and bring in a bunch of new guys that haven’t played together before – it takes that time to gel.

“You have to build chemistry. On and off the ice, the chemistry is coming together and it’s just a matter of time.”

Stars face a double-header this weekend, with a trip to Streatham Red Hawks on Saturday, before the reverse clash on Sunday.