Money not the issue for hot goalie prospect Curtis Warburton

Curtis Warburton says money was not an issue when it came to decide which team he would play for this season.

Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 11:02 am

The goaltending prospect, 19, attracted a fair amount of interest before accepting a two-way deal which will see him available for Sheffield Steelers as well as his main employers, Bees IHC, who play out of Slough.

The teenager had been courted by Leeds Knights amongst others in the NIHL.

"I had loads of talks with Leeds, we were speaking for about a month. It was pretty close, I'd say" said Warburton.

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"I talked to other teams, loads...I can't name them all.

"For me it is not about money; I wanted to go somewhere I would play.

"I am at that age where development is key, especially for goalies. I need to be playing as much as I can. Some people might wonder about my decision but I listened to the opinions of people like goalie coaches.

"The money would have been pretty similar at Leeds, but as I say money is not the important thing, it's the playing time. I wanted the best opportunity to play and just felt the Bees were the best move I could take."

Curtis Warburton, picture courtesy of Dean Woolley.

Warburton, a Whiston, Rotherham lad and keen golfer at Roundwood Golf Club in Rawmarsh, warmed the hearts of Steelers' fans with his displays in the EIHL mini series.

"I learned loads in that tournament, it was so much quicker, your reads have to be that much better, there were so many highly-skilled players.

"The practices were good and watching Churchy (Ben Churchfield) and (John) Muse was really helpful, I could take things from them" said the netminder.

Now the prospect of watching Barry Brust in Steelers' games excites Warburton, too.

"I'll watch him in practice and some games next season, take things out of his game and put them into mine."

The goalie has worn the Sheffield Steeldogs' jersey on more than 50 occasions and he is looking forward to facing them for Bees on September 26.

"It will be different being on the other side but I will be excited for it."

Friday sees Steeldogs open their campaign by travelling to Elland Road, Leeds for a pre-season friendly. A day later, they host Brad Day's Telford Tigers at iceSheffield (7.30pm.)