Blackburn Hawks kick off their new season this weekend – and believe they are back fitter and stronger than ever before.

The ice hockey side enjoyed success last campaign reaching the play-offs and hope new signings and refreshed optimism can help them go one step further this time around, starting against Billingham Stars tomorrow night, starting at 5.45pm.

Manager Graham Lomax believes there is plenty to be positive about ahead of the new season, saying: “We cannot wait to get the new campaign under way. Everyone is buzzing about the first game and we are certainly feeling good about it.

“We always believe we can do well and this season is no different. We have added a real mix of quality, experience and potential to the squad during the summer, strengthened the defence and it’s looking stronger than ever.

“The league is going to be tougher than ever, but we have got a real depth to the squad so we are optimistic.

“We have been preparing for the new season since June so the squad is fit and raring to go – roll on tomorrow!”