SHEFFIELD Steelers say they feel vindicated by Tom Squires’ move away from Sheffield Steeldogs.
Squires was a rookie Steeler last year - but coach Ryan Finnerty wanted to send him out of the city to learn his trade on a two-way deal with Telford Tigers.
The winger, 21, rejected the idea and signed for EPL side Steeldogs.
He recorded just two assists in 13 games there but has still been offered - and accepted - a full-time berth with Elite League Hull Stingrays.
Steelers official Dave Simms said: “Our club got a lot of flak over the Tom Squires situation in the summer.
“We wanted to develop Tom under the best coach in the EPL, Tom Watkins, at Telford. The plan was for him to train with us and play for us when Telford had no game. Everything down to gym membership was sorted.
“Under Tom, he would have played first line, power play and penalty kill. He would have played 30 minutes a game.
“We felt he needed to go out of town and grow up as a man,” said Simms. “People in Sheffield were telling him he was a superstar and getting into his head. It was all to comfortable for him.
“We also didn’t think that he would develop in the same way playing the style that Steeldogs play.
“It looks like things did not work out for him there and we feel vindicated in the way we dealt with the situation.
“We like the lad and are delighted he has gone to Hull, where he’ll have a better chance of achieving his potential under Sylvain Cloutier.”
Steeldogs, who made an inquiry about Steelers second-string goalie Geoff Woolhouse before landing James Flavell, issued a statement saying: “We would never stand in the way of any Sheffield player’s progression and the Steeldogs wish Tom all the best for the future.”
Squires commented: “Clouts has shown a lot of faith in me and I hope to repay that faith by helping the team in any way I can.”