Annetts and Rocky may split goalie dutyBy Alan Manicom
December 16, 2008
Bracknell Bees player-boss Adam Bicknell has assured injured netminder Gregg Rockman that his place is safe despite the sensational form of back-up goalie Tom Annetts.
Annetts recorded his third English Premier League shut-out in just 10 appearances this season as Bees won 4-0 at Sheffield Scimitars on Saturday.
He was named man of the match for the following night’s 3-1 victory at Romford Raiders. And he will be between the piping again when Bees take on Slough Jets at the John Nike Leisuresport Complex tonight (8pm face-off).
But Bicknell is keen to refute any notion that Rockman will find himself relegated to deputising for his understudy when he recovers from the ankle injury that is expected to keep him out of action for another two or three weeks.
Bees’ boss said: “Rocky has kept us in games in the past and I am not about to forget that.
“I’m disappointed that some fans have suggested that Rocky might not get a game now. And I am very anxious that the competition between Tommy and Rocky should not become a negative thing.
“Both goalies get on very well together. They have worked hard between them to help us get the best defensive record in the league.
“There is no way I want Tommy’s good form to become an issue.
“I signed him because he is very professional and does not moan about a lack of ice time and he has been excellent for us when called upon.
“I want to see him and Rocky continue to build on their partnership.
“We could get to a stage where they might get one game each every weekend so they can really concentrate.”
Bees welcomed back Roman Kelner and Sam Oakford from injury at the weekend, but Tom Duggan (shoulder) is unlikely to ice again until the end of January, while Scott Moody will have a scan on his knee on Thursday amid fears he may need an operation or face a lengthy lay-off.
Bicknell, meanwhile, showed no signs of being affected by the cartilage problem in his knee as he and fellow British forward Joe Greener scored in both games this weekend.
Bees’ boss said: “Although I like to contribute as much as possible, my only real concern is that the team wins. My knee is fine and only hurts when I land or fall on it.”
Bicknell has struck up a good understanding with linemates Ryan Watt and Kelner, who was back in action just a fortnight after an operation to fix a minor hernia.
Bees’ boss said: “Roman is starting all over again as far as regaining his fitness is concerned. He is not going to be an out-and-out scorer for us, but you can see glimpses of class already. He is so big and strong on the puck that he makes space for people around him.
“And having Oaky back means we are able to play six d-men which is helping with fitness levels. Keeping the same pair with the same forwards also builds up an understanding that leads to consistency.”