"I just want to be a winner" says homesick Sheffield Steelers' player

There were many things that defenceman Davey Phillips missed about Sheffield Steelers whilst playing for a team in Hungary for two months.

Friday, 18th December 2020, 9:01 am

His South Yorkshire team-mates, the arena, the fans; but most of all...just winning games.

Phillips iced a dozen times for Dunaújvárosi Acélbikák as he battled to earn money for his family back home, during the coronavirus-induced hockey drought.

Most games in Hungary and Romania ended in defeat and that bitterly upset the hugely-competitive GB international.

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"It was good at first, I enjoyed it, there was a good bunch of guys but it was tough losing as many games as we did," he said.

"You get used to winning in Sheffield - we didn't win a game when I was there, in 60 minutes, just a couple of overtime wins.

"Being bottom of the league can be a miserable experience. I enjoyed Hungary and I have nothing against the club but you could be in the NHL and if you lose every game - well, no one likes that. It is difficult particularly when you are missing your family."

Davey Phillips: "I missed winning." Pic: Dean Woolley

Phillips said he had been expecting Dunaújvárosi to react to the awful run of results in the Erste League.

"When you lose that many games you know there is going to be changes and stuff is going to happen," said Phillips.

"The coach got fired. We were rock-bottom and then we lost to the second from bottom. I said to the General Manager if you want to make changes I am happy to go as I am missing home.

"I said just pay me up to today and I'll go. I didn't want someone else getting fired when I was happy to leave. I thought I'd do the honest thing. Thankfully, the GM understood."

Phillips is hopeful that Steelers will be back in action soon.

The EIHL is trying to organise a new year tournament, funded largely by a Government grant and expected streaming revenues.

If that fails to materialise, the skater would be happy to drop down a league to the NIHL, should that division resume.

"Fingers crossed the Elite League starts or the NIHL. I would go to either league, whichever is going to bring some money in."

Would he consider playing for Sheffield Steeldogs?

"I don't know what will happen, I would just speak to all local teams and go from there," said the Hull-based blueliner.

"Maybe I'd even travel a bit to teams further away, play at the weekend while getting home in the week. I've got no clue what will happen."

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