Sheffield Steeldogs have announced that Dean Smith is the latest player to sign up for the Scimitars All Stars clash against Andre Payette’s side on August 2.
Smith was part of the club’s Grand Slam winning roster - scoring 70 points en route to victory - and after finishing his playing career, he was part of the Sheffield Ice Hockey Academy during the 1990s.
With Smith the latest name to sign up - following net minder Ben Bowns, Matt Haywood, Ryan Handisides and Arran Strawson - it means that, in all likelihood, he will face players within the Steeldogs camp that he has been coaching over the years, including Tom Squires
“Dean was one of the first coaches that I had on the old Yorkshire’s number one hockey schools,” Squires, the Steeldogs forward, told Grass Roots.
“As a young player in the junior club I looked up to players like Dean, who was not only a fantastic player but someone who was willing to give up his own time to help the juniors.
“Players like Dean are the reason why I got into coaching myself.
“I felt privileged to have a professional player coaching me and I hope that the young players in the academy are encouraged to do the same when they are older.”
Ahead of his return to Ice Sheffield, Smith admits that he is looking forward to linking back up with the ‘dominant’ All Stars team for what he calls a special event: “I just think that it’s a tremendous idea and for great causes,” he said.
“Really, I can’t wait to be back on the ice with mates from that Scimitars team which was such a dominant team of its time and to be facing some of the lads that I taught on hockey schools when they we’re kids.
“I think for this game that the Steeldogs will be teaching us how to play! But I feel that the Sheffield hockey fans will really get behind it and make the game a special event.”
The Steeldogs Academy, meanwhile, only has three places remaining ahead of the second year of the innovative BTEC Level 3 course.
The successful Academy, which has produced two players, Cam Brownley and Tom Barry, for Payette’s first team, has taken major strides this summer after attracting interest from outside of Sheffield.
London trio Jamie May, Sebastian Downing and Josh Milton have all signed up for the course, after visiting iceSheffield for a South-East Conference tournament.
The three remaining spots are expected to be taken before the start of the new year. Call 07579803833 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.