TOM Squires admits he’s still struggling to find the logic behind events leading to him exiting his home club, Sheffield Steelers.
The winger left the club under “disappointing circumstances” after playing a part in more than 50 games and scoring 20 points.
Steelers coach Ryan Finnerty felt the player would benefit from a two-way arrangement with EPL Telford Tigers - playing for them, but still being part of the Elite League set-up.
Steelers wanted him to develop away from the city, to give him more ‘life experience’.
But Squires, aged 21, turned the plan down and joined EPL side Steeldogs, effectively severing his links with Steelers, at least for the time being.
He told The Star: “In my meeting with Finner it was clear they wanted me to have the ‘experience’ of many players living away from home.
“But for me it didn’t make sense as I already have to support myself and work in other jobs to pay my way in Sheffield. It is not as if I am living off my mum and dad. I haven’t lived with them for two years and have my own apartment and stand on my own two feet.
“I’ll always be thankful for the opportunity Steelers gave me and I’d never close the door on them.
“But I didn’t follow the logic of going to Telford or other EPL sides in the south. I suggested Steeldogs so I could have still trained with Steelers. But that was shot down in flames.”
Squires admitted the was “a little bit down” after that meeting. “It’s disappointing to hear your home club doesn’t want you back but that sort of thing happens in this type of business,” he said. “And I respect Finner’s reasoning that he didn’t want me to just sit on the bench. But, no disrespect to Telford, it would not have felt as good going there as it does to be with the Steeldogs.”
A couple of Elite League clubs spoke to Squires before he made his decision. “I was tempted but didn’t want to be in the same position, fighting for scraps of ice time,” he said. “Some people say I’ve taken a step down, but I see it is a step in a different direction. I need a lot of ice time.”
Steelers winger Luke Fulghum has joined Central Hockey League Denver Cutthroats.