LIAM Morris is the latest re-signing for the Basingstoke Bison, writes Graham Merry.

The fans’ favourite is one of the best utility players in the league, but in recent years has been predominately used as a defenceman.

The 27-year-old was born in Glenrothes in Scotland and is the son of Canadian import Frank Morris. He has spent most of his early career in his father’s homeland.

He made his Bison debut in the autumn of 2018 and soon became a hit with the Herd faithful for his feisty style of play.

Morris is also one of the best puck carriers on the team being able to convert defence into attack in seconds and was the Herd’s leading goal scoring defenceman with 10 last season.

Bison head coach Ashley Tait said: “I think Mo’s value is clear to everyone. His work rate is second to none and whilst his production is not as high as he would like, his value is in his diversity.

“I think the only position he has not played is in goal and I am expecting to see his growth as a player continue.”

On the minus side club captain Elliott Dewey and Ollie Stone have left the club.

Dewey now lives outside the area and so with regret has decided to eventually sign with a club nearer to his new home, after finding the commute to matches last season hard going.

Fellow defenceman Stone will also ply his trade elsewhere next season and play against the Bison.

Last week, the league format was announced and will see a 56 game schedule, with all teams playing seven teams six times and four teams five times.

For the Herd this means six games against the Bees, Bristol, Milton Keynes, Raiders, Swindon and Telford along with five games against Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and Peterborough.

Hull and Sheffield will travel to Basingstoke just twice, while the Bison go to Leeds and Peterborough on only two occasions.

This league season starts on the weekend of September 17/18 and ends on April 1/2.

The first home and away games as in previous seasons will count towards the National Cup, with the top four making the semi-finals.

The play-offs will be over one weekend April 8/9 with the following quarter-finals pairings of 1 v 8, 2 v 7, 3 v 6 and 4 v 5.

This means the Coventry weekend is on April 15/16.