David Simms' Sheffield Steelers ice hockey column: Wily Fox continues to impress
Goaltending was good, the D looked solid and we scored goals from many different areas and players – all looked good last weekend as the Sheffield Steelers opened their pre season exhibition series with two victories against HK Poprad at ICESheffield.
This Saturday we all return home to the Arena and a game against MAC Budapest (face off 7pm). The game will see the return of former Steeler Josh Pitt as he debuts for his new club.If all looked good on the ice last weekend I have to say the bloke who impressed me the most was actually off the ice. Aaron Fox.Now of course I like Aaron and will cheer him on 100%, I helped recruit him and was part of the interviewing process. He impressed from our first phone call, the first interview and the first face to face meeting.The thing is, he has kept impressing every day since. Not in a crash ban wallop way but in a quiet, efficient and diligent way throughout the summer and into training camp.We are all different people, all wired differently. We all have different ways. Aaron has joined the management team at the Steelers and has fitted in like a hand in a glove. I don’t think we have been disappointed in anything he has done.Whilst I have always liked my coaches to be “in your face, old school and aggressive” I think we have all come to the conclusion that those ways don’t work with the modern day player. This modern world we now live in requires modern ways and approaches.I think Aaron is one of those new modern breed of coaches, don’t get me wrong not a soft touch in any way, far from it. But not a shouter and ball you out coach at first. I’m sure that button is there but not used as a first port of call. Arran’s work ethic is off the chart, in at 7 in the morning. He has taken over an outstanding back room staff built up by his predecessors. Danny Mawer, Paul Teather, Andy Thorpe and Andy Akers are the best in the business. He has added Carter Beston-Will and Aaron Johnson to that team to ensure that no stone is unturned.I like him, no nonsense, straight talking, quiet talking and efficient. I hope it works out for him and he is here for a long time building something special. The Fox years have me quiet excited.All the coaches of all the teams meet next Monday in Birmingham. They meet with league officials and those running Dops who are flying in from Austria.It’s the first time that a meeting like this has taken place pre season with every mover and shaker in attendance. It’s an important meeting as the whole relationship between coaches and officials has to improve. Of course for that to happen both sides have to show the other some respect, I’m not sure that has always been the case on both sides.Aaron has worked with the Austrian contingent before after his time in the EBEL, his relationship with those guys is a good one and I have every confidence that as a club we will have few issues with the authorities. Question ahead of the weekend. Goaltending. Who starts against Nottingham in our first Challenge Cup game next weekend. I think Aaron will make his decision before this weekend.
I’m guessing who starts this Saturday against Budapest starts next week against Nottingham, the other goalie then to start the next night in Nottingham.Both goalies impressed me last weekend, I have zero preference as we head into these games. I have confidence in every player I’ve seen to date.That’s a nice place to be isn’t it.Remember all tickets for Saturday’s game against MAC Budapest are priced at just £5.00 – your Saturday entertainment doesn’t get any better value for money than that does it.