Bob Westerdale talks with Ryan Finnerty

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Ryan Finnerty, aged 31, is the coach of Sheffield Steelers ice hockey club.

What have you been doing today?

A day off. I took the first tee off time and golfed. Played pretty well, hit the ball pretty straight and was happy.

Who is your inspiration and why?

I guess my parents – like most kids they were there for me, supported me and importantly paid the financial burden of their kid playing sport.

Which sports star did you admire when you were growing up?

Wayne Gretzky – I grew up in Edmonton, Canada in the 80s – he was the king of the Oilers when they were winning Stanley Cups.

What’s your favourite other sport?

I enjoy golf, it gets you out and I am semi good it. I like to think I’m better than I am. It’s competitive; I like that.

Who is the most famous person in your phone?

Mike Babcock, Stanley Cup winning coach of the Detroit Redwings: saying that I only have it because David Simms gave it to me.

When was the last time you cried?

I guess every year when I leave Canada to come back over here, I miss my nieces and nephews – Kalem, Rylynn and Karsen.

Who or what are you most proud of?

My wife for putting up with me. I’m told I can be a bit of a handful, though I don’t see it that way myself. I over achieved in the wife department but don’t tell her.

What’s the best piece of advice you have received?

My Dad always told me ‘Go with your gut instinct’ so I do. Whether in hockey or regular life.

When did you know you were good at what you do?

I still don’t - I’ve only been doing it 12 months as a coach. As I player I tried my best to be the best I could be but never thought myself as good. I guess I was good but never thought that way.

What one item do you take with you wherever you go?

My phone. Its my life dependency unit. My numbers, my diary, my schedule. Every six months I lose it though and have to scramble to get everything back.

What is the most nervous you’ve ever been?

My wedding day – I married Heather in August 2007. She was a good catch I was keeping my fingers crossed she would show up.

Do you ever doubt yourself?

Not so sure I doubt myself, but I do question lots of decisions I make. Coaching is about making decisions and you second guess yourself every day.

What is your view on social networks like Twitter and Facebook?

I like them. I think it’s good that athletes and fans can interact. Fans see a more human side of sports people and get their views on other subjects.

How do you relax away from sport?

I try and golf once a week, sometimes that’s possible. I need the early tee off time. It just clears your head for a few hours and takes your mind away from the hockey, sometimes that’s needed.

Where was your last holiday - and would you go again ?

I booked for Kenya, spent £1,500 getting to Manchester airport and then got turned away as the passport was out of date - wouldn’t suggest that one again. Canary Islands was nice – I’d go back there again.

Do you cook? If so what’s your favourite - if not who provides that favourite meal?

I cook chicken, a stir fry, I think I do a pretty good job of it as well. I eat a lot of chicken.

What was the last book you read?

Bob Proberts (hockey tough guy) autobiography. It was a good read, lots of good stories about my hockey heroes.

If you weren’t doing what you do, what would you do?

Probably a fire fighter or paramedic in either Alberta or Victoria which is my new adopted home in Canada.

Tell our readers in your own words why you think we’re interested enough to interview you?

I guess its because I coach one of the biggest sports teams in the area and I played here and won championships. That or I’ve been for a few beers with the Assistant Editor Bob Westerdale...