Archer convinced he can hit the bullseye with Phantoms
James Archer believes he has chosen the perfect time to return to his hockey home away from home. The prolific forward is Phantoms’ flagship British signing ahead of the new English Premier League season.
Archer (28) returns to the club which handed him his first taste of senior action more than 12 years ago.
He made his first EPL appearance in the 2003-04 season before going on to enjoy three full campaigns with Phantoms.
Spells at hometown side Sheffield Scimitars (the predecessors to the current Steeldogs) and Milton Keynes followed ahead of a six-stay at Manchester which included three major honours.
But Archer now feels the time is right for a new challenge back where it all began.
He said: “I had six great years in Manchester and was fortunate enough to win the league title a couple of times and the play-offs there.
“But I felt it was time for a change and there is no place like home and that is what Pe- terborough is for me after I started my career here.
“It’s a new challenge and one I’m really relishing. I played with Slava in Manchester so I know how he operates and what he expects of his players.
“He wants me to play the body, do the dirty part of the game and put the puck in the net if at all possible.
“I have some good memories frommytimeatPeterbor- oughinthepastandhopefully I will make a few more now.
“Phantomshavebeenback winning and challenging for trophies in the last couple of years and hopefully we can carry that on.
“There is no doubt in my mind the club is on the up again, and we’re here to compete.
“We’ll start theseasonwith the same ultimate goal as every other team and that’s winning the league.
“Weneedtotakethingsone step at atime. Thereisalso the EPL Cup to take into consideration with results counting towards that competition in the openingpart of the season as well.”
Archer has exceeded a half-century of points in four different EPL seasons and he goes into the new campaign feeling sharp after a summer spent playing the game in the Southern Hemisphere.
He scored 30 points ( 11 goals and 19 points) in 14 gamesfortheCanterburyRed Devils during a three-month stay in New Zealand.
“The standard of hockey is not uptothat of the EPL,” continuedArcher.“Butitisjust an amateur game out there.
“Oneofmyoldteam-mates, Dean Tonks, is based in New Zealand now and gave me the chance to go over there.
“It was tough being away from my family for a long period of time, butalsoagoodexperience to work and play in another country.”
James Archer in action for Phantoms against MK Lightning.