‘Majority of Sheffield Steelers fans and players support owner over sacking’

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Tony Smith says the reaction to him sacking Gerad Adams has been “very good” from fans - and there is no discord among Sheffield Steelers’ players either.

The club owner said: “The vast majority of fans understand what I am trying to do and where we want to take the club. And most of them, bar a very small minority, are on board and are they are trusting what we do.”

Sheffield Steelers: not an unhappy camp, claims Smith

Sheffield Steelers: not an unhappy camp, claims Smith

As for the players they: “come and go, just like coaches come and go, I guess. The players have been to see me and the question is always the same: ‘Who is coming in?’

“I don’t know the answer to that right now, but the players are fine, they want to play hockey in Sheffield because it is the best club in the country.”

Asked about the Champions League - one of the reasons given for Adams’ sacking, he replied: “It is a start, it is the first step in a journey for the Elite League, Nottingham made a start last year, they did quite well and we are going to do our very best.

“Will we get to the final sessions of the Champions Hockey League? Probably not. But let’s stay positive and see how far we can progress.

“This year there are 48 teams in the first round, down to 32 in the second.

“So we have got to win a couple of games to get to the second round. Could we do that? I don’t know. Let’s wait and see because that would be a hell of an achievement if we can.”

Smith admitted he had no idea who the skaters would be in the new U20s set-up.

“We are looking to pull guys from the area, not just Sheffield. Hopefully from the Sutton area, Bradford even Hull.

“We are looking for the cream of the u20s to bring together to start coaching. I am hoping the head coach when he’s appointed and his assistant will take this on and do a great job.

“Twenties are the future of this league, we have to find some good players at that age group to go forward.”