Decision soon on whether Kielly comes into Sheffield Steelers' match night squad

Sheffield Steelers' coach Aaron Fox faces another tough roster decision ahead of this weekend's two games.
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In Kameron Kielly, he has a young forward busting a gut to make an impression on him and his team.

So far he has been unable to do that in EIHL competition, as he was a healthy scratch last weekend.

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Will Fox change a winning team? Or will he use the Challenge Cup group game at Nottingham Panthers on Saturday to blood the 26-year-old right-hander?

Kameron Kielly in pre-season actionKameron Kielly in pre-season action
Kameron Kielly in pre-season action

The coach says he won't make a decision on any lineup changes until he has watched them training over the full week.

He is already likely to have a British spot vacant, as Brandon Whistle has yet to recover completely from his injury.

That won't affect the last import slot which is up for competition every week because Sheffield have one extra man on their roster.

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"I think it is always a difficult decision when you are fully healthy, to scratch a guy" admitted Fox.

Kielly late arrival at SheffieldKielly late arrival at Sheffield
Kielly late arrival at Sheffield

He says Kielly has "got better and better every day" and performed well in practice.

But he was late to camp (delayed visa) so all his team-mates had more training and preparation time under their belts, he explained. He was given more time to catch up.

"I like him as a person, I like him as a character, I like him as a player" said Fox.

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"I know he is going to help this team win games here at some point and we'll kind of go from there."

The team boss said it was the norm in a north American environment to have fit players left out.

"It is a little bit more abnormal here, a lot of the time you don't have the extras to be able to do that.

He recalled the occasions last year when his team had been saddled with injuries and he'd had to use the full depth of his squad: "It will all work itself out.

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"I am very excited to have Kameron in the line up I know he will do a good job when he gets in.

Injury ruined Kielly's last season. He iced just 23 times for ECHL sides Atlanta Gladiators and Toledo Walleye.

That didn't quell Fox's interest in him and in July, he noted: “He’s extremely motivated to come in and be an impact player for us.

“He’s coming off an injury that cut his season short last year but is healthy and can’t wait to get started."

Steelers host Cardiff Devils on Sunday.