BASINGSTOKE-born Stuart Mogg is back for another season with the Herd after an excellent first full campaign with his home-town team.

The forward, who turns 20 tomorrow, scored three times last year and he saw an increase of ice time for the double winners at the end of the season after Michael Wales was injured.

The Hatch Warren player, a sports science student from Southampton Solent University, was also part of the Southampton Spitfires team who won the national university title.

He is an inspiration to other young Basingstoke players who have the aspiration to play for the Bison, as he has played for every team from the under-10s upwards at the club.

Bison player/coach Doug Sheppard is pleased to have re-signed the forward, who won the Bison’s Most Improved Player Award last season.

Sheppard said: “I am very pleased to have Stuart back for another season.

“He’s someone who is going to establish himself in the line-up. He is a player who soaks up like a sponge what you tell him in training.”

Returning Mogg said: “It is good to be back, and with most of the team returning, I am sure we will gel quickly. I think being part of your home-town team winning a trophy after so long was a real high spot for me last season.”

The Bison will compete in a new cup competition, the English Challenge Cup, this season, which will see them face Invicta (from Gillingham, Kent), Wightlink (from Ryde, Isle of Wight) and Chelmsford from the National Ice Hockey League, which is the league below them.

The competition will be played under NIHL import restrictions, which mean the Herd will ice just two imports instead of four.

This will mean all the EPL teams will draft in under-21 players. The competition is seen as a way of developing young players.

The two conferences for the new English Challenge Cup will see the southern group made up of the Bison, Bracknell, Chelmsford, Guildford, Invicta, Milton Keynes, Swindon and Wightlink.

The northern group includes Billingham, Blackburn, Manchester, Peterborough, Sheffield, Solway and Telford.

Sheppard said: “This is a new competition and it will give me a chance to look at under-18 and Buffalo players who could become part of the Bison in the future.”