DAVID Gaborcik has marked his debut season in the English Premier Ice Hockey League by winning two awards, writes Dave Wright.

The 23-year-old Slovakian was voted Bracknell Bees’ player of the year in addition to being named as their top defenceman.

“I feel really excited,” he said after picking up his two trophies at the club’s presentation evening.

“This was my first season here, it was a new experience for me. I liked it, as England is good for me.”

But it is too early to say if he will be back for a second season.

There is a question mark hanging over the club’s future and, if they do continue, they will be restricted to three imports.

“I don’t know yet about next year, but I would like to play for Bracknell again,” he added.

Gaborcik was not the only Bees player to collect two trophies at the awards ceremony, held at the venue of one of their sponsors, Blues Smokehouse in the town centre, last Wednesday.

Carl Thompson also celebrated a double by winning the players’ player and Best British player categories.

“Obviously, I am very pleased,” he said. “It’s been another tough year for the team, but an improved one compared to last year in the fact we were stable throughout the season.

“We had a good bunch of lads again, they put their all into it. There were some games where we played unbelievably and got the wins we deserved, but there were others we probably could have won had we not lost a bit of concentration for a few minutes or a period.

“But it has been a good season and, hopefully, it will be upwards and onwards for next year.”

Carl’s brother Shaun, who rejoined the club during the season, was voted Bees’ best forward.

“It was good to have him here,” added Carl. “He knows how I play, he knows my feelings and he can get me going as well - and it’s vice versa.”

Fellow forward Rio Grinnell-Parke was named Bees’ most improved player, while the coaches’ player-of-the-year trophy went to skipper Matt Foord.

The club’s unsung hero award went to Scott Spearing, who missed a lot of matches due to a knee injury, but was always there to assist the team, either from a seat in the arena or alongside them on the bench.

Media manager John Slater picked up Bees’ Ambassador of the Year.

Every member of the squad – including Josh Smith who is still nursing double fracture of his jaw – attended the presentation evening along with nearly 100 fans.