Sheffield Steelers set to add five new players to 2022/23 roster

The revolution inside Steelers' dressing room is well and truly under way.

Monday, 20th June 2022, 10:47 am
Updated Monday, 20th June 2022, 10:48 am

The Star understands FIVE players new to both club and the EIHL have signed on the dotted line, for coach Aaron Fox.

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Four different countries are represented in those new players.

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Fox needed new blood for obvious reasons - he wanted to upgrade after his team failed in the pursuit of honours last year and the likes of Marco Vallerand, John Armstrong, Justin Hodgman and Adrian Saxrud-Danielsen have moved on to other clubs or retired.

It will be interesting not just to put a name to each of the new intakes, but also check out their ages.

Evan Mosey described Sheffield as "an old team" in an interview with The Star, last season.

Last year's overall average age was 31.21 years, but that figure included youngsters who were not always in the squad, people like Curtis Warburton, Cole Shudra, and Alex Graham.

Five new faces are set to be unveiled by Sheffield Steelers.

The average age of the championship-winning Belfast Giants team was 27.17 years.

Mosey said of them: "They have got a pretty young team; we have the experience but it is a long season, especially for us and we are a bit older, sometimes it has been a grind..."

Sam Jones - at 24 the youngest full-time D-man on Sheffield's books - will be closely watching the team building, during the summer.

He wants the side to be more consistent next season after a 2021-22 campaign that spluttered to a halt against Dundee Stars in the play off quarter finals.

Sheffield coach Aaron Fox delivers a team talk.

"There were mistakes made that caused us goals against, we made silly mistakes myself included, and that led to goals that we'd hoped we wouldn't let in.

"Everybody was extremely disappointed but Foxy is doing an overhaul because of that and next year we can win trophies."

The coach will have a slightly bigger amount to shell out for his playing staff as next season's wage cap has been increased slightly.

Steelers' owner Tony Smith envisages his own club, Nottingham Panthers, Cardiff Devils and Belfast Giants will reach that level of expenditure, while the other remaining teams in the Elite League will be "there or thereabouts."

Steelers will have a bigger playing budget next term.

Last year's Sheffield team was not the most expensive he's put together, given the wage cap, but he says they were "definitely one of most talented until we flew into crazy injuries."

He said perhaps the most important deal had already been set in stone - the three-year contracts awarded to Fox and his number two, Carter Beston-Will.

"I am comfortable with that situation, it settles the club down to go on to the next phase and win something," said Smith.

The re-signed players at Sheffield, so far are: Robert Dowd, Jones, Martin Látal, Mosey, Davey Phillips, Jonathan Phillips, Kevin Schulze, Brandon Whistle and Curtis Warburton (G, two-way.)