Cardiff Fire are back to compete in NIHL division 1 for 2024/25

The Cardiff Fire are delighted to announce that their application to NIHL South Division 1 for the 2024/25 season has been successful, after spending the previous three seasons in division 2.

The Fire are no strangers to the league, competing within NIHL division 1 during the 2019/20 season which ended prematurely due to the pandemic.

The team will compete against current league champions Streatham IHC, playoff champions Chelmsford Chieftains and Swindon Wildcats 2 who are also joining next season’s ten-team league:

  • Cardiff Fire
  • Chelmsford Chieftains
  • Invicta Dynamos
  • Milton Keynes Thunder
  • Oxford City Stars
  • Romford Buccaneers
  • Slough Jets
  • Solent Devils
  • Streatham IHC
  • Swindon Wildcats 2

Director of Hockey Mark Cuddihy continued:

When we made the tough decision to drop down we did so with a plan in mind to return asap. D1 is where the club has traditionally competed, but to get back there we needed to completely rebuild on and off the ice. At the start of last season we looked closely at our squad and the room for growth within the players was huge. We agreed to look at moving back to D1 halfway through last campaign and in February we made the EIHA aware of our ambitions to return to D1 and expressed our interest.

We know that it won’t be an easy jump for us, but we feel we have the right talent, culture and enthusiasm amongst our group. These players are ready and raring to take this next step. The age of our team is most important. It’s a super young group of guys with a real commitment to the sport. We have also recruited well this summer and everyone is really looking forward to the next challenge, on and off the ice!

Head Coach Elis Sheppard had the following to say:

When I came onto the coaching scene in 2021, the goal of mine and Cudd’s was to ensure that the club returned to NIHL1 hockey as soon as possible, with a three-year plan. Our plan stemmed from strengthening relations with the youth programme in Cardiff to allow for upcoming exciting prospects to join the team. Although some minor setbacks transpired which are always inevitable, I am delighted that the EIHA and other members of the NIHL1 division voted in favour of our return.

The team owners from the ten clubs will meet this weekend to finalise plans for the 2024/25 season. Keep an eye out over the next coming weeks for more exciting announcements as the team builds ready for next season.

Photos by James Assinder