For Newcastle Northstars veteran David Ferrari, a return to training at the end of last month was about more than getting back on the ice.
After three months away from the rink, Ferrari said reconnecting with his teammates had been the highlight.
“It’s excellent [to be back at training], probably socially is the best thing, being back with the guys,” he said.
“I’ve missed being on the ice but being back in the dressing room with the guys is great.”
Ferrari said it was incredibly difficult to create training sessions without having access to the ice.
“You can’t really replicate a workout around skating, it’s very unique, so that was difficult,” he said.
“For me, it was just regular workouts and about enjoying the time off, enjoying the time with family [and going] running, keeping the cardio at a decent level.”
Ferrari, a defenceman who joined the Northstars in 2011, added he was hopeful the sport would come back stronger than ever next year.
Coach John Kennedy Jr echoed Ferrari’s thoughts.
He said it was “awesome” to be back in action.
“After everything that’s happened, it’s just getting back to what we love to do,” he said.
“It’s about being back on the ice, seeing your mates again and enjoying the game.”
He added that, while the pandemic created challenges around training, it had allowed him and the team to refocus.
Moving forward, Kennedy believes there will not be much of a season this year because “everything is up in the air”.
“We may do a smaller version of it where you have Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) teams compete in a NSW competition,” he said.
“Some type of mini comp, just four to six weeks of exhibition games where the fans can come and see the players play and the players can get on the ice.
“We want to entertain as much as we can, so we hope to get on the ice as soon as we can and get back to doing what we love to do.”