SHAUN Thompson has confirmed he will lead the Bracknell Bees line next season.

The 29-year-old forward becomes Bees’ first addition for the new-look National League South campaign.

Thompson re-joined Bees from 2015 EPIHL champions Basingstoke Bison midway through last season.

His impact was immediate and he was named Bees’ Supporters’ Club Best Forward of the Year for 2016/17.

Thompson is well known at The Hive following previous Bees spells from 2005-05 and 2011-14. He also won the EPIHL Cup with Slough Jets in 2011 and spent the 2014/15 campaign with Manchester Phoenix before a switch to Basingstoke.

Bees’ player-coach Scott Spearing believes Thompson’s presence in the dressing room will be vital during a period of change on the ice.

“It’s great to have Shaun back,” he said. “His experience is invaluable moving forward with this fresh approach to hockey in Bracknell. He is a perfect fit for the team and has a great work ethic.”

Olegs Lascenko, Lukas Smital, Josh Tetlow, David Gaborcik and Martin Pavlicek have all left Bees in recent weeks, with ex-player-coach Smital moving to Slough Jets.

The recent collapse of the EPIHL means Bees will compete in National League South next season along with Basingstoke, Cardiff Fire, Invicta Dynamos, London Raiders, Milton Keynes Thunder, Peterborough Phantoms, Streatham and Swindon Wildcats.