BLACKBURN Hawks have completed the signing of Czech star Robin Kovar ahead of the new season.

The 34-year-old boasts plenty of experience having played for Manchester Phoenix and Swindon Wildcats in the English Premier Ice Hockey League while last season he spent time in Kazakhstan with Ertis Povlodar where he scored 13 points in 22 games.

And he is excited to join up with his new teammates in East Lancashire ahead of the start of the NIHL Moralee Conference campaign in September.

“I am pleased to agree a deal with my new team Blackburn Hawks," Kovar said. "After my return to UK I was looking for team to play for and Blackburn will be perfect fit.

"I will do my best to help the Blackburn to be successful and have a great season ahead. I am looking forward to a new challenge and will be also nice to play again with some of my old teammates.”

Hawks coach Steve Duncombe, who is back for a second season in charge next term, is also happy with the capture.

“I am so pleased Robin has agreed to play for the Hawks next season he is the one non-British trained player I wanted on the roster and this move alone makes us a better hockey club," Duncombe said.

“I would like to thank the owners for having the belief in the club and for giving me the opportunity to go out and sign a player of Robin’s capability and credentials – I really can’t wait for the season to start."

The Hawks have also retained defenceman Luke Boothroyd, club captain Ollie Lomax and Bobby Streetly.

The trio have all signed on for the 2018-19 campaign and believe the club can have a successful season.

Boothroyd, 31, said: “I’m really looking forward to a second season with Blackburn.

"We had a lot of potential last year and showed what we were capable of as a team in a number of games. It sounds like Duncs is putting together a very competitive team which, again, will have lots of potential."

Lomax, who joined the club as a junior in 2002, added: “I can’t wait to get back to the rink and be with the boys. We spend a hell of a lot of time together over the winter, so it will be a welcome return to get things going again”.

“There was never any doubt in my mind when Duncs asked me if I wanted to return this year.

"Rest assured I know I am not getting any younger but one thing I can bring to the party is a 100 per cent willingness to never give in and I will do whatever is asked of me."

Streetly was a key man for the Hawks last season and Duncombe is thrilled to have him back on board.

“I’m so pleased to have Bobby back for another season. Last year he went from strength to strength and really played a pivotal role towards the end of the season.

"I’m expecting him to play an even bigger role this season as I know he has been working on his strength and conditioning throughout the summer.”