SHEFFIELD STEELERS: Ryan Finner’s retirement could go on ice

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RYAN Finnerty’s self-imposed retirement from playing may be put to the test if injuries impact on Sheffield Steelers’ early season form.

The club will run with 10 imports rather than the maximum of 11, with Finnerty planning to concentrate solely on coaching from the bench.

But last year’s bench coach Neil Abel believes that Finnerty is the type of person to don the club’s uniform if he feels the side is going through a bad patch or have players unavailable through injury. “I can foresee Finner training with the lads in case he feels he has to jump in” said Abel.

“He doesn’t want to play but he would be able to do it if he had to - he would be an asset to any team in our League. We have enough Brits in the side to need him to play maybe two or three shifts a period. You watch - if there are a couple of injuries, he’ll be shoving the gear on to help us out.”

Abel has been in discussions with Finnerty and owner Tony Smith about his own role next season. “Ideally, I would like to look after the defence” he said.