BRACKNELL Bees director Stuart Robinson has admitted the season has not quite lived up to expectations, writes Dave Wright.

Their campaign ended on a bitterly disappointing note last weekend when they were beaten by London Raiders at the first stage of the NIHL Division 1 South play-offs.

They lost the home leg 6-5 on Saturday following a catalogue of errors in defence and some wayward finishing, and, despite drawing level, were beaten 4-2 at Romford on Sunday to give the Raiders a 10-7 aggregate win and a place in the semi-finals against Basingstoke Bison.

Robinson told the News: “We have not quite achieved the expectations that we were hoping for at the start of the season.

“We went through a long, difficult patch when we lost a couple of players to long-term injuries, and the suspensions to Frankie Bakrlik have been hard to manage as well.

“Overall, it has been a tough season to get through.”

At least, it was an improvement on the year before, with Robinson commenting “Our fans have had the opportunity to cheer a few more home wins than last season, but at times, unfortunately, we have let them down.

“Saturday was one of those games, where you can’t quite fathom it out how we can outshoot a team so heavily (46-23) and still end up losing.”

Robinson revealed that he, fellow director Carol Miller and head coach Spearing are already looking ahead to the 2018-19 campaign.

“We are making plans on and off the ice and it’s looking good. We are determined to improve on this season,” he stated.

One of their main decisions will be whether to bring back leading scorer Bakrlik for another season.

Whilst pleased with his 30 goals and 23 assists from 25 games, the directors must be concerned about the Czech’s disciplinary record, having twice seen him suspended by the NIHL, leading to a total of 24 games.

One of the club’ highest paid players, Bakrlik is currently serving an 18-match ban with 13 now being carried over to next season following Bees’ exit from the play-offs.