So who is Sheffield Steelers’ new assistant coach?

Paul Thompson and Jerry Anderson, new Sheffield Steelers management team
Paul Thompson and Jerry Anderson, new Sheffield Steelers management team
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Jerry Andersson was named the new assistant coach of Sheffield Steelers, last week.

The Swedish ice hockey guru, 56, was Paul Thompson’s boss at Troja Lundby, but now comes in to be his first lieutenant. We quizzed about his background and ambitions.

* After your high profile career in Sweden, is a move to the UK considered a step down by some in the Swedish hockey community? Did it cause a surprise - General Manager to assistant coach?

For me it is big step up! Not so many in Sweden understand how big EIHL hockey is.

They’d have to see it with their own eyes. In Sweden it was a big surprise, even though a lot of people knew my relation with Thommo. It’s a big challenge for me.

* What was your job in the 2015-16 season?

I was GM for a hockey academy and High Performance Centre. I organised international hockey development for kids aged 13-19.

* Had you not taken the Sheffield job, what would you have done next season?

Good question, hopefully some team in Europe.

* Will it be hard to be away from your family for such an extended period?

Of course it won’t be easy all the time, but it is simple to fly in and out. I hope there will be periods for my wife and boys to come over.

* How long is your contract with Sheffield?

Between August-April but I hope it will be longer! I am sure I will enjoy it and bring the club some good things.

* Do you have a longer-term career plan?

I think about long plan for young kids. Clubs with good young players are stronger for the future.

I will look around the area, rinks, gym whatever. UK is a top place in Europe to develop.

I love to work with young players even if they are not the best.

It is enough for me if they have willingness, passion and will pay the price to be better.

* Are you aware of the nature of the rivalry with Nottingham Panthers?

I understand the Steelers v Panthers (rivalry) - I saw the atmosphere around final-four (Play off) weekend even if Steelers did not qualify. I follow the League by newspaper, web, TV and understand it’s big!

In Sweden We have some rivalries but I’m not sure it is as strong.

* How would you sum up your personal and leadership style?

I am calm, a listener and honest. Knowledge is important but also loyalty to your club, staff, players, members, media and all around.

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