Sheffield Steelers may go for shorter-contract coach after Paul Thompson’s decision to leave

Paul Thompson and Jerry Andersson, right,
Paul Thompson and Jerry Andersson, right,

Sheffield Steelers could recruit a 'caretaker' coach to see them through the rest of the season.

Quality coaches, like players, are thin on the ground so early in the season. 

So it’s likely that Paul Thompson's replacement will be asked to sign a rest-of-the-season contract, after which the club can take stock.

Steelers received around 50 inquiries about the job in 24 hours and are compiling a short-list.

Mark Matheson will coach the side until a new leader is installed, aided by veteran players Jonathan Phillips, Aaron Johnson and Evan McGrath.

Matheson took his first training session on Tuesday morning - inheriting a squad genuinely upset by the manner of Thompson's departure and quick to reject any suggestions he’d “lost the dressing room.”

Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson

Thompson resigned - he was not fired - as the pressure from some fans for his removal was ramped up. They were angry at recent performances and results.

His former deputy Jerry Andersson today said British hockey had lost an unparalleled level of "experience and knowledge."

Andersson told The Star: "If Thommo was born in Sweden, he would have had an SHL team, if he was born in Canada he'd run an NHL team - but not everyone understands that.”

He added it was important the club "stayed calm" during the rebuild. 

Ex-Steelers' coach Ryan Finnerty has criticised abusive social comments from some fans.

And another former player Paddy O'Connor added: "People need to realise that there are no million dollar pays off in the  UK and we all have families to take care of.

“I hope the people who attacked him all have secure jobs and they don’t find themselves unemployed soon."

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