If you happened to drop into Liam Kirk’s house after he returns from school tonight, you’d probably see the 16-year-old demolishing his favourite ice cream.
While many people in Maltby and the rest of South Yorkshire may be trying to shed a few pounds, he’s going the other way.
He wants to put on some timber to improve his presence in the rugged world of ice hockey, but says: “It will come in time.
“Most nights I eat a Cornetto to put a few pounds on” says the lean Maltby Academy pupil, who is still on cloud nine after scoring his first goal for Sheffield Steelers on Saturday, against Coventry Blaze.
Kirk’s apprenticeship at the championship-defending club is a direct result of his family’s involvement as fans, years ago.
He was a baby when he was first brought to Sheffield Arena by his parents, along with his elder brother.
“I used to watch Dowdy and Jono (team-mates Dowd and Phillips) in their younger years - so scoring a goal with a team you have grown up watching...there are no words to explain it” he said.
“I just threw it (the puck) on net, hoping! I thought the goalie had saved it.
“It just bobbled over the line, and before I knew everybody was screaming at me, I don’t know what to think. It’s crazy to think at such a young age, that I was able to bag one. It was surreal...coming back to the bench I was looking around at everybody; they were showing their support. It is such a great fan base in Sheffield. The love for hockey is unbelievable. It drives us every day.”
Kirk says the club-chemistry is a huge asset. “You come into the team as a kid and they don’t treat you like a kid, they treat you like another; it’s just an incredible experience.”
Kirk said a goal would be coming along for his co-apprentice pal Cole Shudra soon.
“He is a great player, I played alongside him in juniors and now playing with him at senior level it’s like we’ve grown up together.”