Legendary boss Hand must go says Simms

Great Britain - a clean sweep of losses at the World Championships
Great Britain - a clean sweep of losses at the World Championships
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SHEFFIELD Steelers official Dave Simms believes his old friend and former club-mate Tony Hand should step down from his position as coach of Great Britain after a disastrous world championship tournament in Hungary.

GB were relegated to Division 1B after losing every game in Budapest, the last game a 4-1 drubbing by Korea.

Simms said: “It is hard for me to say this, as Tony is a good friend. But he is the coach of an English Premier League team at Manchester and doesn’t see the Elite League players who wear the national shirt.

“Every coach and every player asks the same question: ‘Why is Tony in charge?’ ”

Simms lies the blame more at the door of organising body Ice Hockey UK, rather than Hand himself.

“They are an amateur organisation in charge of a professional sport.

“They appointed Tony after Paul Thompson and team manager Andy Buxton stepped down.

“Since then the running of the programme has been poor - they should re-appoint Buxton and find a new coach, in my view.”

Steelers defenceman Danny Meyers has said that the scorelines in Hungary had not reflected the performances given.

But it is clear now that an inquest in the way GB’s programme is set up must get underway.

Meanwhile, Steelers former coach Ryan Finnerty has apparently been offered a two-year contract by Braehead Clan.