STEELERS have told Steve Duncombe they won’t want him to play for them again after he turned up late for a match.
The big Steeldogs’ defenceman, who was on Steelers books from 2002-6, is one of several iceSheffield players that Steelers have iced or trained with. But Steelers player coach Ryan Finnerty wasn’t happy when Duncombe turned up late for a recent game against Dundee.
Finnerty told him not to dress - with the heavy implication that he wouldn’t be asked back to play at the top level.
A Steelers source said: “Stevie is a great kid but has had lots of chances to stay at Elite level and hasn’t taken them. He’s blown it completely now.”
Dogs’ coach Andre Payette struck a conciliatory tone over the incident. “I am aware what happened. At the end of the day it is Ryan’s team. I give them my permission to play a player and whatever happens after that is down to Ryan. There are rules and if they are broken, then nobody can complain.”
Steelers have also been sniffing around ‘Dogs Latvian centreman Janis Ozolins - seeing him a a possible contributor should they have any injured imports (Stephenson and and the EPL player is available. Payette said: “I wasn’t aware of their interest but we’re always willing to help Steelers out whenever we can.
“However, he plays for us first and foremost, we are a separate business and our games come first. People believe in us, we want to win the English Premier League and that means having all our players available to us.”
Steelers have confirmed they are bringing in Peterborough’s Warren Tait for the rest of the season, as cover for injured Jonathan Phillips. “We are delighted to have Warren on board” said Finnerty. “He knows the club and the majority of the players well. His inclusion gives us more depth and once our injured guys get healthy we will have competition for places, which is important. Warren can be used in a variety of roles. On the penalty kill, for example, he’s very responsible in his own end and I trust him implicitly. It’s a blow to Peterborough but they have acted with complete professionalism throughout this whole affair and I thank their coach for that. It’s never good having your squad reduced this close to the start of the season.” Tait played for Steelers between 2006-2008.