Dave Simms column: Sheffield Steelers fans should be thankful for 'special' Ben O'Connor

The decision made by Aaron Fox to roll the dice early was the right one for me.

Friday, 20th September 2019, 11:46 am
Updated Saturday, 28th September 2019, 8:05 am
Ben O Connor.

It showed good leadership and a firm mind that he knew that one of his signings hadn’t paid off.

When Martin St Pierre signed for us at the end of the summer we were all, rightly, excited.

The player, the resume and the pedigree was about as high as you could expect.

The man himself was first class. A profession, decent human, it’s a shame when the end of the road happens to those guys.

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An injury in pre-season probably wasn’t the best way to start your Steelers career, but in the weeks that followed Fox and the rest of us have been disappointed that the star qualities we had hoped for weren’t coming through.

The face-off’s were a joy to watch - there hasn’t been many better wear our shirt in that area however the Steelers needed more, especially after two home defeats already to Coventry and Glasgow, teams that won’t be around when the final trophies are handed out in March and April.

I applaud Fox for making the decision early.

It’s never easy but I do think we have a man here who is prepared to do the right thing for the club first and I like that.

Swedes have never let us down here in Sheffield and the new arrival Lucas Sanstrom will be playing outside his homeland for the first time in his career – we wish him well.

The scouting reports say he is more of a two way forward that will bring us some grit. He wears our shirt and he has my support.

What a weekend for him to come in for: a cup game in Manchester and then a league game at home on Sunday to Cardiff Devils, the team we have to judge ourselves by.

I know Belfast won the league last year but Cardiff are the gauge for me.

Over the past few years as an organisation they have been the market leader. That’s something we had been used to and it’s something we are striving to get back.

Steelers have made huge steps this summer and so far this new year but only when we see where we are to Cardiff will we really have some idea where we are.

The Devils started well both in the Champions League and domestically. That was until last weekend going down to Glasgow and Coventry – who invited them to the party?

The Aaron Johnson injury couldn’t have come at a worst time.

Aaron Fox is looking for a replacement, he has names in mind but wants to make the right decision, find the right player that will make us better.

I think AJ has been outstanding recently. I think we see how good he is when he isn’t there.

Ben O’Connor seems the target for the boo boys once again.

They have just finished celebrating form their ‘Thommo out’ campaign and are ready now for the same treatment for our Benny.

Is Ben high-risk? One hundred per cent. Do his errors get highlighted because of that high risk? Absolutely.

But on the flip side he does things out there that others can’t do – for example the pass to DeLuca on Sunday for his first goal.

No other player in the league makes that pass.

We saw last year after many had rejoiced in his move to Sweden how much we missed him when he was away and just how much energy and hope he gave us when he returned.

We are a better side and a better club with Benny here leading the charge. He cares, loves the club and he has special qualities. Long may he continue to wear the shirt of my club I say. Fans should be cheering on one of the brightest talents we have ever had.

Do your stuff this weekend and let's bring the points home.