Same Diff: Sheffield Steelers reward American d-man with new contract

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Sheffield Steelers' defenceman Brien Diffley knows his team will have a "target on our backs" this coming season, as they seek to defend the three domestic titles they collected last term.

And the American will be back at Sheffield to ward off rivals, having signed a new deal with the club, whose EIHL fixtures were released today.

The 29-year-old fitted into a new-look defence at the start of last season and played consistently throughout the campaign.

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With the regular league title being the priority, 'Diff' will work hard to hold on to the main trophy as Belfast Giants and Cardiff Devils have done in recent times.

Brien Diffley making friends in his debut yearBrien Diffley making friends in his debut year
Brien Diffley making friends in his debut year

Steelers won back-to-back league titles in 2010/11 and 2011/2012 and want to do the same again.

Diffley commented: “We had an incredible season last year and it was great to be a part of such an outstanding team.

"Coming back to defend the three titles as well as the opportunity to play in the CHL meant it was a no brainer for me.

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“Having such a great core returning was also very important, we built a great bond between us all and after the year we had last year, I think we owed it to each other to try and do it again.

Brien Diffley defending at Cardif Pic Rebecca BrainBrien Diffley defending at Cardif Pic Rebecca Brain
Brien Diffley defending at Cardif Pic Rebecca Brain

“There is a target on our backs this coming year, I think we all know that.

"It looks like every club has improved and that’s great for the league and I guess for the fans who will witness more exciting and entertaining games.”

Coach Aaron Fox said Diffley is: "An elite skating two way defenceman who makes the game look easy.

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"Diff has got elite closing ability, plays with a tight gap, and has one of the best sticks we have had here.

“Offensively he’s great on his puck retrievals and in transition he can effortlessly join the rush.

"He’s a very unselfish player that will do whatever is needed for him to help the team have success.

“Having him and Colton Saucerman both back gives us that option to start the year with a pair we know can play against any line in the league.”

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