Attack-minded Sheffield Steelers will be more dynamic this coming season

Sheffield Steelers will be a faster, more dynamic and aggressive team next season, under new coach Aaron Fox.

By Bob Westerdale
Thursday, 27 June, 2019, 16:18
Tom Zanoski in the heat of battle

That's the belief of forward Tom Zanoski who knows Fox's style from their time together at Medvescak Zagreb.

Zanoski, who played 23 games for Steelers last season, believes the American team boss will be a good match for a club looking to get back on its feet after an unsatisfactory season under first Paul Thompson and then Tom Barrasso.

"I know Aaron very well, we have been working together in Zagreb for several years, and I actually recommended him to the organisation" revealed Zanoski.

"We had a few conversations, about what they were looking for in a coach, and I thought Aaron would be a great fit.

"At the time he was looking for a new opportunity, so I put them in touch.

"I'm really glad it worked out. He is a young coach, with a lot of experience in recruiting at the highest level in Europe.

“He is very passionate about hockey and very knowledgeable, and most of all he wants to win," said the Croatia international.

"He is really good at recruiting and there is no doubt in my mind there will be some really exciting and quality players, playing in Sheffield next season.

"His coaching style will be much different than in the past, and I think the fans will really enjoy the up-tempo, aggressive, offensive style of play."

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Zanoski admitted last year's team played "a pretty defensive system last season, a 1-3-1 trap style."

Tom Zanoski

He said: "You tend to wait more, and teams come at you, instead of us coming at them.

"Aaron's style is definitely more offensive, high-tempo, he always wanted us to play with pace, carry the style and attack teams all the time, be aggressive.

"So I think it's definitely something that is exciting to watch for the fans, but also a style players really enjoy playing."

Looking back at last year, Zanoski added: "Sometimes an off-season happens, and that's all it was last season in Sheffield. There is no doubt in my mind the club will be at the top of the league again this coming season."

The player is back in training now, post-honeymoon.

He said: "I just started looking at what options would be available for me, and being close to Zagreb would be great, but I definitely wouldn't rule anything out, and if a good opportunity presented itself again in England I would gladly consider it.

"I really enjoyed my time playing in Sheffield and would like to thanks all the fans and the organisation on treating me so well and making my time there very enjoyable. The club has a great core of players, they have a lot of character."

*Zanoski's favourite Steeler memory was his first home game, a 2-1 win over Milton Keynes Lightning, with a crowd of 5,530.

"I guess a game that stands out for me, was the first home game, the fans were amazing. I had goosebumps at the welcome I received from them, and playing in front of fans like that is something I don’t take for granted that's for sure."