Goodnight and Good Luck – Oli Bronnimann

Another day, another person to say goodbye to from the 2011/12 Herd it seems. With the press releases coming in thick and fast from all sides we’ve already said goodbye to Sam Oakford. Today we say farewell to another EPL Bison original as we bid farewell to #91 Oli Bronnimann who moves on to pastures new.

What have we lost?

Similar to Oakford, Bronnimann’s year was blighted by inconsistency and injury. Just as he seemed to be hitting a rich vein of form he groin decided that it had had enough and gave up on him.

Bronnimann’s always been something of an enigmatic figure on the ice. He’s very much the lurker, a finesse player who waits around like a cat waiting to pounce and then boom! He’s gone, off down the other end, dekes the keeper out of his shorts and scores. His game is never suited to crashing and banging around but hard skating and getting shots in net.

The shame for Bronnimann this season was he had to live up to the expectations of 2010/11. He finished the season as the top British goal scorer in the EPL with more goals than Tony Hand who had an over 100 point season. He then starts 2011/12 off with a bit of a whimper, Moria shuffles the lines continuously until he’s eventually put with Miller and Volrab when he finally starts looking like his old self and then he gets moved around again. Then when his form of old finally returns, his groin pings like an elastic band breaking under the strain.

I think it’s unfair to judge Oli fully on the basis of last season because he did give it a good go. He threw hits, he even had a fight even if his strategy was to bury his head in his opponent’s chest and swing an arm blindly at him.

What we’ve lost is a player who, on his day, has one of the best eyes for goal in the EPL and any team would be happy to have that.

Where’s he gone?

At the moment, nowhere but the press release that came out Monday makes it pretty clear that he won’t be back. There’s talk he’s signed for Swindon or, with Ryan Watt having signed for Braehead the Jets are being bandied about as potential new bosses for Oli. Time will tell.

Who replaces him?

I seem to keep answering this question sensibly with “nobody we know at the moment” so here’s the comedy answer as I’m bored of writing the same thing. Me, I’ve replaced Bronnimann, happy now?

Final thoughts

Cut from the middle to the left wing, wind up and release. Shot either goes in or right into the keeper’s breadbasket. Do the Bronnimann! You could be guaranteed one of those shots a game with Oli about but that wasn’t all he was about. He wasn’t the sort of player to go crashing in and wallop everyone but he wasn’t lazy. He was intuitive. He’d hang at the edge and when given the chance he’d sprint away past the defenders and leave the keeper for dead. The issue was this past season is he didn’t play well enough, or get the time on the line that suited his game best then he got hurt.

Wherever Oli ends up (and I’m lead to believe he’s staying in the EPL) if he can find his form from 2010/11 they have signed someone who could easily put up 50 points if all the stars align. Sadly at times though they don’t align but that’s the risk you take sometimes. If Oli pays off for his new team, he will really pay off.

Thanks for everything Oli, we’ll see you along the way.

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