Countdown begins for Sheffield Steelers and Steeldogs

Paul Thompson with Steelers owner  Tony Smith
Paul Thompson with Steelers owner Tony Smith
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Paul Thompson will hope to start off his first season in charge of Sheffield Steelers in the same way his predecessor Gerad Adams did.

Adams’ class of 2014-5 set off like a train last term, scooping 11 wins out of the first 13 - and one of those losses was a penalty shoot out at Cardiff Devils. They were no slouches in the next 10 either, they won seven of them.

This week in training, Thompson sets about trying to form a team that match or even better than electrifying pace. Steelers start their season with friendly matches against Braehead Clan on Saturday and Sunday.

Last year Steelers had the whip-hand over Ryan Finnerty’s unit, taking six points out of eight from the title contenders.

Meanwhile Sheffield Steeldogs and Hull Pirates - both owned by Shane Smith - are to combine to take on a Finnish team on August 21 at iceSheffield (Face off 19:45.)

The visitors, called Vikingit, are a Division four team in Finland, who are also playing Blackburn the night afterwards. Interestingly, there are no imports available in the joint Yorkshire roster - so fans will get to see plenty of ice time from home grown English Premier League talent.

When Steeldogs, coached by Greg Wood, eventually get to full strength, they will have the services of Arnoldas Bosas, a 6ft 4ins Lithuanian forward. Despite being only 24, Bosas has played in leagues in Latvia, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan and Poland.

Steeldogs have also signed Stanislav Lascek, a 29-year-old Slovakian right winger, who had a spell at iceSheffield last season and has iced in America (AHL/ECHL) Germany and France.

Earlier this Summer, Andre Payette, 38, who had five seasons at Steeldogs, joined old pal and Steeler David Longstaff, who is player coach Whitley Warriors. The team plays in the NIHL.

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