THE Basingstoke Bison will play in a brand new league next season after the English Ice Hockey Association announced there will be a new structure for next season at a club meeting last week.

The Herd will line-up in the new National League which will be made up of the Bison, Bracknell Bees, Hull Pirates, Leeds, Milton Keynes Lightning, Peterborough Phantoms, Raiders based at Romford, Sheffield Steeldogs, Swindon Wildcats and Telford Tigers.

The Lightning move from the Elite League and Leeds are a brand new team playing out of arena which is next door to Leeds United’s Elland Road ground.

The league will be split into north and south with the Bison in the South section along with Bracknell, Raiders, Peterborough and Swindon.

Bison player/coach Ashley Tait is looking forward to the new league and said: “I think this new league will be very competitive and it is also sustainable which is just as important for all the teams involved."

South One, which the Bison played in this season, next year will be made up of Invicta Dynamos, MK Thunder, Streatham, Chelmsford Chieftains, Solent Devils, Slough Jets, Oxford City Stars, Bracknell Hornets, Raiders Juniors with a tenth team is to be confirmed.

North One will be made up of Solway Sharks, Whitley Warriors, Solihull Barons, Sutton Sting, Blackburn Hawks, Billingham Stars, Nottingham Lions. An eighth team is to be confirmed.

South Two will include the Basingstoke Buffalo along with Guildford Phoenix, Bristol Pitbulls, Cardiff Fire, Peterborough Phantoms 2, Haringey Huskies, Invicta Mustangs, Basingstoke Buffalo, Swindon Wildcats 2, Lee Valley Lions, Solent 2 and Streatham 2.

North Two will line-up as Widnes Wild, Hull Jets, Sheffield Senators, Bradford Bulldogs, Coventry Blaze, Dragons, Altrincham Aces, Blackburn Hawks 2 and Telford Tigers 2.