Phantoms find coaches, but seeking homes
BRACEBRIDGE — Bracebridge’s newest hockey team has announced its coaching lineup for the 2012-2013 season, and is also looking for locals to provide homes for aspiring young players.
In an announcement on the team’s website on April 16, the Bracebridge Phantoms said it has hired Anthony Gambacorta as head coach, Fred Caissie as assistant head coach, and Nico Figliano as assistant coach. Phantoms owner Tim Dickieson said the coaching lineup brings a diverse array of talent, experience and skills to the mix.
The Phantoms is one of five new teams to join the Greater Metro Hockey League (GMHL) next season, alongside the Bradford Bulls, Powassan Eagles, Rama Aces and Toronto Attack.
A five-year GMHL veteran and former South Muskoka Shield player, Gambacorta brings coaching experience from having served as the assistant head coach for the Lefroy Wave.
“I watched him last year coaching, he has a huge amount of respect from players in the league,” said Dickieson. “He’s young and he knows the game well from a young perspective.”
Caissie brings an impressive resumé of coaching and managerial experience as well.
He also brings experience as an NCAA scout for the region.
“He brings 25 years of experience with recruitment from NCAA in the United States,” said Dickieson. “I think that brings a lot to the team and into the community for our young players in Bracebridge.”
Figliano, a former Ontario Junior Hockey League player with the St. Michael’s Buzzers, is also a University of Toronto graduate. Dickieson is hoping Figliano’s knowledge of the human mind will translate into strong leadership.
“He majored in psychology, so I believe he’s going to be good to work with the kids and to deal with the kids,” he said.
One day after the coaching lineup was announced, the Phantoms released another statement on their website saying that the organization is looking for area residents willing to serve as billets for players. The team is also actively searching for players to join its inaugural lineup, and will be hosting a series of camps in June, July and August.
“We have a lot of feelers out, we’re getting great responses from the United States, and we’re also looking into local players,” Dickieson said of the recruitment process to date.
On June 15, the team will also be hosting their first annual golf tournament at the South Muskoka Curling and Golf Club. Though he’s currently unsure of when players will be signed to the team, Dickieson said the event will allow locals to meet the team’s managers and leadership prior to the start of the GMHL hockey season.
“It’s a meet and greet, a fun day,” he said. “We’re going to have a dinner, prizes and hopefully some sponsorship from the local businesses on each hole.”
Local families interested in providing accommodations for Phantoms players are asked to contact the team by email at email@example.com.
Anyone seeking information on the golf tournament, trying out for the Phantoms, or for details on sponsorship opportunities is asked to visit the team’s website at www.bracebridgephantomsjra.com.