TONY MILTON hopes Slough Jets can make a return to the ice early on in the New Year as a deal for a temporary rink has finally been reached.

The Jets have been unable to skate on home ice since October 22 due to the closure of Slough Ice Arena for a £7.7 million refurbishment.

Contract talks between Slough Borough Council and Ice Rink Company, providers of the temporary rink, stalled twice causing frustration for all users, but the new ice moved to a giant step closer to reality last Friday.

Leisure services manager, Alison Hibbert, said: “It’s unfortunate that there were contract delays but we’ve done everything we can to ensure all the enabling works for the temporary rink and associated building have been done.”

The council could not give a definitive date for the temporary ice being installed, but confirmed it will not be before the end of this year.

Jets head coach Tony Milton hopes it could be as early as January 3 to give his side time to return to match sharpness.

Their first fixture in 2017 is away to London Haringey Racers on Sunday January 29.

Milton told the Observer: “I’m looking forward to getting back to training and working on tactics.

Royal Borough Observer:

PHOTO: Slough Ice Arena has been decommissioned for a £7.7 million refurbishment meaning Slough Jets will soon move into a temporary rink.

“I’m hoping the new owners will give us extra training sessions to get the guys right up to game speed as quickly as possible.

“Six weeks ago it was all doom and gloom but now it’s only a matter of time before things are up and running. It’s a matter of being patient and biding our time.

“We have not lost any players, in fact we’ve signed a new player. People want to come to this club because they can see there’s a bright future here.

“We’ve only had to cancel three games so it’s not destroyed us, it has just been inconvenient.

“We’ve been able to train with the help of Guildford and Bracknell, and good relations. It’s not the best but the best in the situation we’re in.”