The Bristol Honda Pitbulls are delighted to announce the return of Bristol hockey icon Steve Osman for the 2022-23 season.

Osman, 34, has played six seasons for Bristol, stretching back all the way to 2009-10, where Ozzy racked up 48 points in 19 games in ENL2, before stepping up for two years in ENL with the Pitbulls. Osman then had spells in Cardiff and on the Isle of Wight before splitting 14-15 between Bristol and Invicta. Ozzy stayed at the latter until 2018-19 where he began his third spell with the Pitbulls.

Osman split the 19-20 season between Bracknell and Solent before returning to Bristol for the first season in The Pound. Ozzy featured 34 times in 21-22, scoring 14 and adding 22 assists, coming up clutch in the playoffs with 7 points in 3 games. Osman ranks third in Pitbulls history for assists (176), fourth in goals (135) & fourth in points (311). Osman will be keeping his number 83 jersey for 22-23.

Ozzy has had a long road to get to the National League with Bristol and knows it’s going to be an amazing experience. He said “I’m really happy to be back in Bristol for the upcoming season. I’ve been playing for the club on and off since 2009 so it’s going to be a great experience playing in the National League with the guys and in front of the amazing fans in The Pound who were like a sixth player out on the ice for us at times.

“Last season was brilliant, one of the best locker rooms I have been a part of, the never say die attitude amongst the group was awesome and evident from some of the comebacks we had. I’m excited about the National League and the new challenges we face as a team and as an individual. I know my role in the team may be different and something I’m not used to, but I’m excited to get stuck in and to see how far we can go as a team.”

Head coach Jamie Elson will be leaning on Ozzy’s experience to assist with his young roster. He said, “Having Ozzy back gives us some experience and leadership in the room and being a young group this year that’s going to be really important for us once we get going. He has played around the leagues and has been a consistent performer for every team he’s represented. He has always been a big offensive contributor and we hope he will help us generate offence this season, but he also knows his role and what I’m asking from him for this season. He’s going to have to contribute in some other ways also and we’ve had some good conversations and I know he’s excited to be part of it.

“He is a Pitbull through and through and really was desperate to be back this year and be part of our first National League campaign, especially off the back of the amazing year we had last year, and I like having guys who really are passionate about playing in Bristol for us. He’s always a great guy off the ice and well respected in the room amongst his teammates, and having that character is important to what we are building off the ice here with our recruitment.

“I’m hoping Ozzy will be a guy who can play up and down the line up as a more veteran guy and give us options. Last year I felt he played some of his best hockey in the final stretch and play-offs and I’m hoping he starts this year where he left off. I know the fans will be pleased to see #83 back out there this year!”