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Action at Murrayfield last season. Picture courtesy of Ian Coyle

Tony Hand has welcomed the fixtures for The National Ice Hockey League (NIHL) North Cup competition which includes Murrayfield Racers.

Racers take their NIHL North Cup bow at Billingham Stars on Sunday, September 9 and Hand, the club’s director of hockey, stressed that the competition will be a severe test for the squad early in their inaugural campaign.

The Murrayfield legend said: “This is undoubtedly a step-up from the Scottish National League (SNL) as there are some quality players in the NIHL.

“However, we will have quality players in our squad and I am convinced our guys will relish the opportunity of skating against top sides from England which our fans will see for the first time.”

The first round of the North Cup is on a home and one away basis against other six teams with the top four sides qualifying for the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Racers bosses will attend the Scottish National League (SNL) fixtures meeting this weekend.

Details of the SNL league and cup games will be revealed after that meeting.

The North Cup fixtures list is:

September 9: @ Billingham
September 15: v Blackburn

October 14: @ Sheffield
October 21: @ Solway
October 28: v Telford

November 3: @ Telford
November 11: @ Hull
November 18: v Solway

December 1: v Hull
December 16: v Billingham

January 5: @ Blackburn
January 20: v Sheffield

Finally, we remind fans that Early Bird season tickets are now on sale via www.ticketsource.co.uk/mracers.

And the fans forum is at Murrayfield Ice Rink on Sunday, August 5 (4.30pm). Go to the Riversdale Suite.