SHEFFIELD STEELDOGS: Highly-rated Andre Payette lands GB coaching role

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ANDRE Payette’s abilities as coach at Sheffield Steeldogs have been nationally recognised with the Canadian installed as the Great Britain Under-20s coach.

He will lead the youngsters at the 2013 World Championship in Ukraine in December.

The 36-year-old has been in charge of the English Premier League side since mid-way through the 2010-11 season.

Payette said: “I am very excited and honoured to be named head coach for the GB Under-20s national team.

“Great Britain has been my adoptive country for the last nine years and I am thrilled to be able to give something back to British hockey, which has given me so much. I feel I am the perfect fit for the national junior team as my strongest attribute as a coach is working with young players.

“I have been fortunate to play under some great coaches in North America and over here in the UK and hope I can pass some of that knowledge on to our top young players. It’s a tremendous honour and not one I will take lightly.”

GB head coach and former Steeler, Tony Hand, added: “He has done a fantastic job with the Steeldogs in the last few years.

“He is working with this age group on a daily basis which I believe is really important.

“Andre has worked under a lot of great coaches and that is of great benefit. There were a number of fantastic applicants for the role. Andre is a great fit for the role and I know he will be well respected and the kids will love working with him. After speaking with Andre at length, he knows what is expected of him being a GB coach.”

Steeldogs turned the form book upside down as they beat Elite League Hull Stingrays 4-3 defeat at Hull Arena in the first leg of the Bradford Brewery Cup.

Last season Steelers’ winger Tom Squires notched twice with other goals from Ashley Calvert and Lloyd Gibson.

The second leg is staged tonight at iceSheffield.