TOM Squires will have to continue to improve and develop at Sheffield Steelers if he is to get a share of ice time next season.
Squires joined Steelers mid-way through last season and is hoping to make more of a mark under Ryan Finnerty.
But he will have to face off against the challenge provided by new signing Lee Esders, aged 22, from Hull Stingrays.
Finnerty said: “Esders will be pushing for that ninth [forward] spot, along with Squires.
“Lee has some experience in the league and is responsible defensively. He has a great attitude and wants to win.”
Finnerty says his position has not been hindered by the recent collapse of operating company Rink Corp.
“I have not encountered any problems with the liquidation in regards to recruiting. All the players we have signed are comfortable and excited to have [new company chief] Tony Smith on board.
“We are back on the negotiating table with a new player target in mind that we went after earlier and I’m hopeful we can come to an agreement soon.”