Craig Peacock says the first week of training at the Elite Series hasn’t been as bad as he thought.

The Aspray Glasgow Clan forward is featuring for Manchester Storm in the competition, which begins on Saturday and after shaking the cobwebs off, is set to return to action for the first time in over a year.

And he says as he rediscovers his old habits on the ice, it’s like he’s never been away.

“Surprisingly I feel a lot better than I expected, to be honest,” Peacock said.  “It’s been tough after over a year off away from the game and the ice.

“The first few days were a bit rusty and I was feeling it, but my legs are starting to get used to it again.  Muscle memory comes into it with co-ordination and stick handling and things like that.

“It’s taken a couple of days, but we’ve had some good practices in getting used to it and get a feel for it.  It’s like we’ve never been away.

“The weekend will be the test, having two games over the next two days.  I expect we’ll roll through the lines and give everyone a chance to get some ice time.

“The first shift will be interesting to see how the lungs feel.  Saturday’s game is about getting the legs under you again and getting the rust out.  Hopefully by Sunday, you’re more into your stride.”

Storm face Coventry Blaze in their opening game on Saturday at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, with Sheffield Steelers and Nottingham Panthers making up the foursome.

The competition will run until the start of May as top flight ice hockey slowly makes its way back after a year in abeyance because of the coronavirus pandemic.

As a consequence, the tournament will be played behind closed doors, with strict health and safety measures in place while fans are able to stream the action live.

Peacock spoke of the protocols in place and how he’s found the new procedures in place, but he says the Storm players are all getting on well as they prepare for that first game.

“Everyone’s gelled really well in our team so far,” he added. “There’s a few of us who know each other well, of course plus the imports ‘Finner’ brought back from the previous season.

“There are new guys here as well so it’s a good couple of locker rooms. We’re all getting on and glad to be back playing hockey.

“But having the protocols in place is very different to what we’ve been used to in the past.  We have to do our Covid tests every day as well as fill in an app, plus we have to wear our masks wherever we go.

“It’s a small price to pay to be playing the game we love again so you get used to it again quite quickly.”