Sheffield offers bright future to Nottingham wonder kid

Sheffield ice hockey is hoping to steal a march on the rival city of Nottingham after welcoming 17-year-old whizz kid Louie Newell into their programme.

Friday, 27th August 2021, 2:08 pm

The young forward impressed during trials sessions at iceSheffield and has been named on the list of Steeldogs' "prospects" for the 2021/22 season.

He is likely to get a breakthrough call-up to the NIHL level, coaching staff believe.

The player iced with Nottingham Lions last season and previously with Nottingham Leopards and Cougars. He will continue his association with their programme.

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However, Newell will take his place in the male group that will train with the Steeldogs throughout this year's training sessions, says co-owner Ali Cree.

Cree said: "Louie has a great skill level, great hands and a very promising future.

"Greg Wood (Steeldogs' coach) is keen to add him to all squad sessions to develop over the season ahead."

Cree said the Sheffield club's philosophy was "100 per cent developing Brits."

Greg Wood. Picture: Podium Prints

The other males on their programme are: Sam Colton, Tyler Nixon, Ollie Turner Ben Cutts and Alex Oldale (all Sheffield) Matthew Cross (Bradford) and Jordan O'Brien (Manchester.)

Steeldogs are rolling with a smaller roster of six defence and 10 forwards, but say they will need injury cover.

There should be an announcement next week on what, if any, Covid restrictions will be in place for iceSheffield games.

Over the road, Sheffield Arena says Steelers' supporters and travelling fans must provide certification of vaccination or confirmation of a negative covid test to attend EIHL games.

Steeldogs in action. Pic by Podium Prints

In Wales, Cardiff Devils have reminded their fans that face coverings are still a requirement for indoor events. An element of social distancing is being encouraged.

Responses from some fans on social media appear to have irked Devils' boss.

Todd Kelman, Devils managing director, tweeted: "Folks - please use common sense when asking us about masks and how you can eat or drink with them on (do I need to explain this? You take them off). Seventeen months of waiting - let’s accept the rules and be happy hockey is back."

Weddings are supposed to be happy times - but try telling that to Steeldogs.

Their pre-season planning is to be interrupted because their home rink will be the host of the 'I Do Wedding Exhibition' at Ice Sheffield on September 5.

The ice will be covered, leaving Steeldogs to organise a team bonding event with a difference - a day at the Ninja Warrior UK Adventure centre at Meadowhall Retail Park!