Sheffield Steelers: Win the Play Offs and the job is yours!

Gerad Adams: passionate leader
Gerad Adams: passionate leader
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Gerad Adams will hold a meeting with his new Sheffield Steelers team this afternoon as his first step in trying to bring back the trophy-winning days.

Adams was confirmed as coach and his immediate task was to find out how to turn an inconsistent side into Play Off winners.

On Saturday, he will have a baptism of fire in a league match at Nottingham Panthers - but it is a challenge he is relishing.

“If we are going to win the Play Offs, we will have to get used to beating Nottingham in their own building, so Saturday will be a mental reference point for that” he said.

“We have to go in the uncomfortable areas against the boards and in their zone and get the puck in their end.

“I love the idea of starting off there. My relationship with Nottingham fans has gone quiet over the last couple of years so I am looking forward to a warm welcome!”

Adams said it was great to be back at a club he played for from 2003-5.

In his first year at the House of Steel, he won the League and the Play Offs under Mike Blaisdell.

The second term under Rob Stewart and Paul Heavey was less successful and he moved to Cardiff Devils, where he remained until being relieved of his coaching before Christmas.

Adams was moved to one side, and given the meaningless role of “Director of Player Personnel.”

Devils had begun the year without a starting netminder and results had been poor.

“Me and the chairman had different philosophies and wanted to go in different directions and things broke down” he said.

He said: “That role was never clarified, it wasn’t right for me, so we sort of mutually parted company.

“I had a testimonial arranged and a lot of people had put a lot of hard work in, so I wanted to stay around and accomplish that goal.

“And I leave Cardiff with no hard feelings. I never wanted to leave Cardiff Devils, it is a special club and place. But things change.”

Adams clearly wants to make the post permanent - but isn’t spending time concerning himself about season 2014-5.

“The contract (until the end of the season) is perfect for me - right now there is no element of having an eye on next year, it is all about building on the strong chance we have of winning the Play Offs.”

Adam’s first home game on Sunday, is against...Cardiff.

Steelers’ owner Tony Smith commented: “Gerad is the perfect fit, short term and maybe long term. He is keen to show us that he is our long term answer. I was looking for a man who could put the fire back into Steelers hockey. Someone to extract the passion that I want to see game in and game out.

“Gerad is a winner. His Cardiff sides have always challenged and he’s never failed to make the final four weekend of the Play Offs. I believe in our team. Gerad has a wonderful chance of giving us a great end to the season. I’m interested to see what he does with this squad but I like his character, his no nonsense approach.

“Players who have played for him have good things to say. They have had fun coming to the rink, which is important. I want them to play with freedom, emotion, heart and passion. I think that is what our fans want to see as well” said Smith.

“We had to wait for Gerad’s Cardiff commitments to end before officially bringing him in here. I could have signed any one of a dozen coaches within a couple of days of Doug Christiansen’s departure. We all agreed though Gerad was our man. I thank Steven Goertzen for taking control of the team in difficult circumstances.

n CentremanNate DiCasmirro has been unable to complete his move to HC Valpellice after the Italian hockey federation failed to endorse the paperwork.