Sheffield ice hockey: It’s a step up for me, says Jeff

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Jeff Legue believes his career has taken a step forward despite dropping down a division.

The seven-season Sheffield Steeler has left the Elite League club to begin life as player assistant coach with Steeldogs, in the English Premier League.

Jeff Legue bids farewell to Star man Bob Westerdale...and Sheffield Arena.

Jeff Legue bids farewell to Star man Bob Westerdale...and Sheffield Arena.

Asked if he felt the drop down to a semi-pro league weakened his profile, he replied: “The way I look at it, it is a step forward in my career - this opportunity the Steeldogs have given me to be an assistant coach and training with kids.

“If you asked had asked me a couple of years ago about coaching it would have kind of gone over my head.

“He (Andre Payette, coach) put it in my mind this year, teaching younger kids (hockey schools) and just being a mentor for the younger guys on our team gives me a new perspective. I am excited to have that role.”

He said he would still associate with pals from Steelers away from the rink, but his professional mindset for the next three years would be solely on Steeldogs.

He said closing the gap on Manchester Phoenix, who won the EPL and recorded 32 points more than Steeldogs was a tall order.

But he said sport was all about achieving the highest goals possible.

Relationships between Steelers and Steeldogs are shakey. But Legue said: “When I was with Steelers there were five or six (Steeldogs) guys I hung out with.

“I don’t think there is any friction or anything like that (between players.)” He said whatever league the two teams are in, there “should be no difference; we are playing a sport and we are all trying to win.”