Jonathan Phillips today endorsed the decision to replace him as captain of Sheffield Steelers after six years of wearing the “C.”
A players’ vote selected Steve Goertzen to take over the role, Phillips and Gord Baldwin becoming assistants.
Phillips, a player who always puts the team first, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my six and a half seasons as club captain. It was always going to come to an end and I am delighted that it is Steven who takes the job on. He has leader written all over him and is hugely respected inside our room and around the league.
“I was privileged to captain the Steelers through some very successful times and help the club win trophies. I am sure Steven is the right choice to lead us into the next era. I’m proud to wear an ‘A.’ I take the position seriously as does Steven and Gord.”
Goertzen described his appointment as “a huge honour.” He said: “I’m looking forward to hopefully bringing home a championship to Sheffield. I don’t think wearing a letter on my chest effects my leadership style. I try and lead by example. You can’t tell guys to work harder if you’re not doing the same, blocking shots and carrying out Doug’s instructions. We are lucky to have many leaders such as Jono, Mark Thomas, Danny Meyers and Jason Hewitt.”
Coach Doug Christiansen said Phillips would continue to be a “tremendous presence.” He said: “I will lean on him just as I do Steven. The leadership group will be an excellent one.”
Meanwhile, new Steeldogs signing Greg Chambers has added his voice to the campaign to convince ex Steeler Rod Sarich to join the EPL side. He said on video at thestar.co.uk: “Rod is one of the top players in this country. Right now he’s not playing and Rod would be a big help for us. A lot of teams would be scared of us if we got him on board.” Chambers said Mike Peron was the most fearsome Steelers competitor he’d played against - see more of this interview online.
n Sheffield is a (pro) hockey free zone this weekend.
Dogs play at Bracknell and Manchester this weekend, Steelers are at Edinburgh and Dundee.