Sheffield Steelers: Abel waits in the wings

Neil Abel
Neil Abel
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Neil Abel is again waiting in the wings to see if his services are required at Sheffield Steelers.

“It’s the same every year - I never know whether they want me at this stage” the Scottish bench coach said.

Abel held talks with new head coach Doug Christiansen, before the American flew to Hungary with GB. “We didn’t come to any agreement, so I’ll wait and see what happens” said the one-time defenceman.

Christiansen may chose to start from scratch: bringing in his own right hand man and, if Rob Dowd is signed, also replacing Ashley Tait, who was player assistant coach under Ryan Finnerty.

Finnerty may end up a coach at Braehead.

“I hope Finner gets sorted” said Abel. There is nothing like the pressure to win the League there as there is in Sheffield, Nottingham and Belfast. People say he has a lot to learn as a coach - that would be an ideal place to do that.”

David Matsos, the 39-year-old former Steelers coach and Belfast Giants player says he has turned down an opportunity to take Christiansen’s previous role at Belfast Giants. He is staying with Windsor Spitfires in Ontario.

Meanwhile, Rotherham-born goalie Stephen Fone has received a hero’s welcome from colleagues at Hillsborough Leisure Centre, where he works as a lifeguard, after helping his team become EPL) play-off champions.