Francis will be just champion with Steelers

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FRANCIS Trudel knew at the end of his debut game with Sheffield Steelers that he had made the right choice.

The French Canadian defencemen did not know the names of any of his new team-mates when he arrived 48 hours before the team played leaders Belfast Giants. But by the end of the night - and of a 100 per cent successful weekend - he was sure he had joined the right club.

“Against Belfast, we were losing 1-0 almost all game but we stayed positive and kept working.

“We showed a lot of character to win against one of the toughest teams in the league. It was a good thing to see in a new team, it meant you know nobody is going to quit, so that’s perfect.”

Trudel recognises it will take him a time to fully adjust.

“It was a little hard to start with, but people told me what to do and the way we’d be playing. It was a different experience but things went better at the end.”

The 28-year-old has never won a major title in professional hockey - and wants to achieve that goal this season.

“Being a champion would mean a lot. I have only had that in junior and in college. Everywhere a player goes you want to be a champion, that’s the reason we are all playing. It would be really good to do that here.”

Trudel said he would re-evaluate his future at the club at the end of the season.

“It is hard to say right now what will happen. We’ll see what the team thinks and if I like it. I am sure I will, I guess we have to figure it out.”

Trudel said the difference he’d detected between the British game and the north American circuit was that teams overseas had “four or five tough guys.”

He said: “These guys are just there to fight.” Trudel added the pace of the British game was fast, but enjoyable.

Sheffield host bottom club Fife Flyers on Saturday (7pm)