THE Basingstoke Bison have added two players to the five already released by the club in the past week.

The latest pair to join the Herd are forward Paul Petts and defenceman Elliott Dewey.

The previous five announced were netminders Alex Mettam and Dan Weller-Evans, along with forwards Hallam Wilson, Cam Buckle and Oscar Evans.

Only Mettam is new to the club having joining from the Bracknell Bees, while the rest all played their part in last seasons Bison treble winning team.

Bison’s new head coach Ashley Tait is very pleased with his recruitment so far and said: “I think it was important to bring back some of last year’s team and everyone starts with a clean slate fighting for their ice time.”

Forward Paul Petts was the Bison’s most improved player last season and this was proved in the end of year play-offs, where the 21-year-old picked up three points in six games, having returned seven points in the regular season.

This was his first full season in Herd uniform and the Gosport-born player is a product of the Basingstoke junior programme.

Petts said: “I think I found my feet by the end of the season and I am really excited about coming back. Ashley Tait is definitely a big name in the game and I feel I can learn off him.”

Basingstoke-born Dewey played in the Basingstoke junior programme and made his senior debut for the Herd in 2013/14 campaign.

The following year he joined Invicta Dynamos where he spent three years before returning to the Herd.

The 21-year-old Basingstoke-born stay at home defenceman returned eight assists last term and picked up just 18 penalty minutes.

Dewey’s defensive partner last season Dan Scott has left and he said: “I will have a new look defence playing new systems, but in Alex and Dan we know we will have two good goalie.”

New Bison netminder Alex Mettam is ready to back stop the Herd to success.

He was one of five signings announced earlier this week by the Bison.

Mettam joins the Herd from local rivals the Bracknell Bees and hails from Sheffield.

He won the English Premier League crown with both Guildford and Milton Keynes.

He was the top EPL goalie in 2010/11 and in October 2011 recorded a shut-out in Basingstoke for MK in a 1-0 win as he turned away 38 shots.

In the autumn of 2013 he moved to Bracknell and last season in the series against the Bison, he recorded an 89.2 save rate compared to Herd goalie Dean Skinns, who had 88.

Basingstoke based Mettam said: "I am really looking forward to playing for Basingstoke and working with Ash (Tait) and Dan (Weller-Evans). My job is make the saves and big stops to keep us in games and I am used to doing that."

Looking back on his last shut-out in Basingstoke, Mettam said: "That was a great weekend for me as came within three minutes of getting another shut-out on the Sunday.

Competing the Herd’s netminding duo is Dan Weller-Evans, who is back for a fourth year and the Welsh born shot stopper recorded his first shut-out for the Bison last season.

Forward Wilson played his first full season last term with the Herd scoring five times and Wilson said: "I am really looking to kick on this season and I feel there are a lot more goals in me."

Buckle and Evans both made their Bison debuts last season from the Buffalo. Evans scored three times from seven games and Buckle picked up a couple of helpers from four outings.