BRACKNELL Bees have re-signed James Galazzi for next season – his 10th with the club – and have awarded him with a testimonial, writes Dave Wright.

A big favourite with the fans, the 35-year-old centre said he is looking forward to a "milestone year."

Head coach Doug Sheppard said: "James is going to bring a lot to the team, everyone sees the effort he puts in on the ice and respects the fact he will stick up for his teammates. He brings loads of experience which is key as we have a very young team. James has a tremendous attitude and it’s going to be an honour to coach him in his testimonial season.”

Canadian-born Galazzi originally made his debut for the Bees in 2006-07. He switched to the Hornets for three seasons before returning to the senior side for the 2010-11 campaign.

Since then, he has become a regular, playing 431 games and scoring 69 goals, whilst his battling, no-nonsense approach on the ice led to him accumulating 973 penalty minutes.

Galazzi commented: “I’m so excited to be back again for what will be a milestone year for me. It’s an absolute privilege to wear the Bees jersey every year and this year will be no different.

"The new National league is going to give us a compelling season and I can’t wait to try and build on our success last year.”

Netminder Danny Milton is also staying at the Hive with Sheppard describing the 25-year-old as the "best back-up goalie in the league", adding: "We saw last season he’s more than capable of winning games at this level. Danny is also an important part of our junior programme helping the development of our young goalies.”

The Berkshire Cycles-sponsored Bees have already signed netminder Adam Goss from Milton Keynes Lightning.

But Bees have lost the services of two key players, Shaun Thompson and Tyler Vankleef.

"I have decided to step away from hockey," said Thompson, who first pulled on a shirt with Slough back in the 2000-01 season with his first appearance for Bracknell coming in 2005-06.

"It has been a tough summer of decisions, but the time is right for me to give back to my amazing family and keep growing my businesses.

"Hockey has offered me so much over the past 20 years and I will forever be grateful. I have been able to create many amazing memories and met some incredible people which I can proudly call friends."

However, the player who wore the Bees No. 13 shirt hinted he hasn't hung up his skates for good, saying: "This isn't goodbye, more like I'll see you later."

Vankleef only joined Bees last December from Nottingham, but made an immediate big impact with 17 goals from as many appearances.

Sheppard has confirmed the 27-year-old Canadian forward will be replaced by another overseas player.

At last year's awards evening, the fans voted Vankleef their forward of the year and Thompson the club's best British player.

Bracknell Hornets have signed 24-year-old defenceman Chris Cooke from Basingstoke Bison, having previously played for Guildford, Invicta Dynamos, Wightlink Raiders and Streatham.

Reading-born Luke Jackson, another defender, has re-signed after playing in 19 games last season. The 20-year-old, who played for Great Britain Under 18s in the World Junior Cup two years ago, also made four appearances for the Bees.

Netminder Mark Duffy, 31, who joined Hornets from Oxford City Stars last season, has rejoined his former club.