CAPTAIN fantastic Aaron Connolly is back for a fifth straight season with the Basingstoke Bison after re-signing this week.

One of the true Herd fans' favourites in the Basingstoke line-up, his return is sure to delight many.

Connolly will once again wear the C on his shirt and be the Bison's leader on the ice for a third year on the trot.

He was the last Bison captain to lift a trophy, when the Herd won the English Premier League crown in 2016.

The 24-year-old forward was born in Northfleet in Kent and started his career with the Gillingham based Invicta Dynamos.

He made his debut for them in the old English National League in season 2006/07 and also had a spell with the Chelmsford Chieftains, before he joined the Slough Jets in 2011.

He was part of the Berkshire outfit's play-off winning side in the same year, as well as making his Great Britain junior international debut.

In the autumn of 2013, he joined the Bison helping them to the double in their first campaign, winning the EPL Cup and play-off crown.

Connolly became captain of the Herd in 2015 and celebrated his first season with the C on his shirt, by lifting the league championship trophy.

The 24-year-old played over 300 games in the EPL scoring over 100 goals and last season had an injury hit season returning 28 points from 48 games, but was back to his best in the play-offs scoring five times in seven games.

A delighted Bison head coach Doug Sheppard said: "Aaron is a great leader both on and off the ice. He is a player with a great work ethic and other players feed off him. I am really pleased he is back for another season, as there is always interest from other club's to sign him."

The return of Connolly brings the Herd up to six players with four other forwards in Ivan Antonov, Dan Davies, Ryan Sutton and Tomas Karpov, along with defencemen Dan Scott and Elliott Dewey.