FIVE of Sheffield Ice Hockey Academy’s rising stars have been rewarded for their hard work by becoming the first junior players to be selected onto the new Steeldogs ‘Prospects programme.’
Luke Smith, Elliott Knell, Jonathon Kirk, Joel Aheran and Bradley Day have all progressed successfully through the iceSheffield Academy. They play for the Sheffield Steelhawks U18 team that have won this season’s Division 1 league title.
Club owner Shane Smith said: “I’m really happy to welcome these talented young players to our Prospects Academy, which is aimed to give them the best possible opportunity to develop their skills. This was the end goal for me in taking on the Steeldogs last season, to provide tuition and the pathway to take prospects through the Sheffield ranks and on up to Elite level. They, in turn, need to work hard to gain from the opportunity.”
Dogs’ coach Andre Payette devotes time to the Academy nurturing Sheffield’s young players, as well as running Junior Hockey Camps in Sheffield.
Having largely built his team on Sheffield-trained players this season, he endorsed this vision for Sheffield, saying: “I am happy to work closely with these youngsters, helping them achieve the highest level possible.”