Little guy has big boots to fill

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MIKE Ramsay is the man Sheffield Steelers will ask to replace Joey Talbot’s goals.

Sharp-shooter Talbot, aged 31, retired from the club last season - potentially a major blow for the Elite League champions as he was a consistent scorer and assist-maker for four seasons.

But Sheffield coach Ryan Finnerty believes he has got an almost like for like replacement in new signing Ramsay from Odessa Jackalopes in the Central Hockey League.

The 26-year-old Canadian is a pocket dynamo - he is only 5ft 8in tall.

But he netted 64 times for the Jackalopes in the last two seasons and says he is looking forward to scoring more goals in Sheffield.

He said: “I want the pressure of scoring goals, I love that pressure of being the guy the team looks to when they need a goal.”

Ramsay, from Newmarket, Ontario, is not short of confidence in his own ability.

“I like to use my speed a lot, I take a lot of shots, I shoot whenever I can and I know I will score.

“I’m a high-energy player.

“This is a great opportunity for me to play in a new league after six years in the States.

“I’m looking forward to it. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Sheffield and about Ryan Finnerty, August can’t come soon enough.”

Ramsay was a target for Finnerty earlier in the summer.

“This is a signing we have just kept plugging away at,” Finnerty said. “I made contact with his agent some two months ago and we kept sowing the seed.

“I like every feedback I have received on Mike. We all knew this was going to be a big signing for us. You can call it the Talbot replacement if you like but to me it was about finding the best goalscorer we could.

“Mike was the best one that came my way and I’m delighted after setting our sights on him we have managed to sign him.”

Ramsay is a former Fresno Falcons teammate of Brett Hemingway - another player Steelers have been linked with over the summer. He was managed at Odessa by former Steelers coach Don McKee.

Earlier in his career, at Peterborough Petes, he played alongside Greg Chambers, who has spent two seasons at Coventry Blaze.

Next term will be his 12th season as a pro