RYAN FINNERTY won’t be rushing into signing up a team for next year - despite his owner’s wishes.
The Sheffield Steelers coach wants to keep a nucleus of top players like Jeff Legue, Mike Ramsay and Colt King and is already looking to make new signings in the summer. But he is not likely to rubber-stamp widespread changes until he sees how successful the side have been.
And Finnerty has insisted he won’t be paying over the odds to retain or recruit, either.
“I’ve already had several meetings with Tony Smith (owner) about next year,” he said. “He is keen for me to start signing. I will sign the right guys now but my general feel is to wait a little longer.
“We haven’t won anything this year yet, so let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves and carried away.”
The player-coach said that the “word is out that Sheffield is the place to play” for imports looking to move to the UK.
“I think any concerns players had about this place over the previous few years have disappeared,” said Finnerty. “Guys are looked after well, paid well and play for a great organisation that will be contending every year.
“My e-mail inbox is already receiving inquiries not only from agents, but from players as well, looking ahead for next season.
“The word is also out about our link with the University of Sheffield, it helps attract some quality players that otherwise would go to the better-paying leagues in Europe.”
He added. “It’s important we keep a core group of guys and I have already sounded some out ahead of next season, I’m sure those who have impressed and will impress me going forward will return.
“We won’t be held to ransom though. We treat players and their families right, we look after the guys in the right way and pay them as well as any team in this league. Guys will consider their own options. At the same time it’s fair that we will consider ours as well.”