Sheffield Steelers pathfinder Alex Dampier greets return of Paul Thompson

Luke Ferrara, third right, celebrates last season's title, with Cullen Eddy, Mathieu Roy and Mike Forney
Luke Ferrara, third right, celebrates last season's title, with Cullen Eddy, Mathieu Roy and Mike Forney
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Alex Dampier, one of the founding fathers of Sheffield Steelers, has warmly greeted the news that one of his old players, Paul Thompson, has become new head coach.

The retired coach, who led Steelers from 1992 - 1998 employed Thompson on the blueline for a couple of years.

At home in Ontario, Canada, Dampier said: “It’s been awhile but i remember Paul as a very sincere guy always worked hard at his game and certainly became a student of the game.

“His work ethic on the ice has obviously carried over to his coaching as his very successful career has shown, I’m very pleased to see a former player return to coach the club.”

Meanwhile, Luke Ferrara has signed his first full time professional contract, a one year deal, with Steelers.

Ferrara was on a two-way contract with the EPL Peterborough Phantoms last season icing 22 times for Steelers and scoring twice. “I’ve good things about young Luke” said Thompson. “He is an up and coming talent who Gerad Adams was impressed with last year

“I’m looking forward to working with and pushing him on in his development to the next level. This is a great opportunity for him and one I am sure he will grasp”

Ferrara has represented GB at U18 and U20 levels whilst playing for the Phantoms in the EPL on 279 occasions scoring 110 goals and 230 points.

“I’d had a couple of years on two-way contracts” said Ferrara. “This was the time for me to make the move full time. I’m just delighted the Steelers have given me the opportunity.

“Last year was incredible and I learnt so much. The older players were helpful and always encouraging. They made me feel part of the team.

“I’m looking forward to working with Paul. His reputation goes before him and his track record on working with young British players is exceptional. I’m sure he will drive me forward and teach me a lot.”