Sheffield Steelers’ re-building after championship win and play off loss

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Sheffield Steelers owner Tony Smith says that the club will re-build the team “from the top down” through the Summer months.

He believes his League-winning side, while proven to be the best in the land over a full season, cannot be viewed as a ‘big occasion’ team after losing in the Challenge Cup and Play Off finals.

Sheffield Steelers: a summer re-build to keep the flag flying

Sheffield Steelers: a summer re-build to keep the flag flying

“No one can argue that we ground through the season and we came out on top” he said.

“Are we a big game team? Well, the history books will tell us that we are not this year. We promised so much, we lost in the Challenge Cup final and lost again (in the Play off final ) so I guess you have to say we are a grinding team.”

Smith, interviewed after the loss to Coventry Blaze last Sunday, admitted: “I am not a hockey guy (but) I could tell you I’d like to see more goals, players give their all on the ice every moment. People tell me that does not happen in hockey, you cannot go flat out for 60 minutes, three periods.

“So I accept that. People who are much more knowledgeable about this game tell me this is how to play the game and I take what they tell me. I am a businessman.

“At the end of the day, what I see out there, it puts bums on seats, it sells season tickets, it sells Arenas. That is what we have to start doing.”

Smith gets hugely disappointed by defeats: “It used to be Thursday or Friday before I got over a loss, but I am up to Tuesday night now, so I am getting better!

“We will re-group, start again we will look to next season and see what changes are going to be made. We will start straight away. We will start re-building the team for next season, we will start from the top down and see where we finish.”

The owner said the final defeat left him: “disappointed for the club, players for all the supporters. We can do better, we should have done better.”

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