Sheffield Steelers lose out on Thomas loan

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Sheffield Steelers have had their hopes dashed of loaning Mark Thomas in the forthcoming Champions League fixtures.

Coach Paul Thompson had hoped to deepen his bench with the return of two players who left the club in the Summer, defenceman Thomas (Manchester Phoenix) and winger Phil Hill (Telford Tigers.)

Hill agreed but Steelers couldn’t reach a compromise with Manchester, the English Premier League side who has recently lost its home and is having to move to Deeside in north Wales.

Meanwhile, Phoenix coach Tony Hand - Steelers’ best ever British player over the years - continues to call for more use of British players across the Leagues.

He said: “It’s crazy in the Elite League. Of course, it isn’t perfect here in the EPIHL, but to have teams with 13 or 14 imports, it isn’t good for young British guys. This should have been addressed 10 years ago, but the numbers have kept going up and up. All we hear is that the British players want too much money, but it’s clubs that have the power. They don’t have to pay that much. At the moment it is too saturated and this league is the only one in Europe like that.”